It would great if this guy became a Youtube celebrity.
Doug, presumably the police are telling you that impersonating a water bailliff is not an offence. Or are they just telling you that it is not 'that' offence so they are not going to bother to look any further to see if any offence has been committed?
Originally Posted by SAFFA
I think Adrian has hit the nail on the head, I guess that the EA (Wales ?) would be the authorising authority, have you asked them ? It would also be worth knowing what training is required / provided and whether there is an annual renewal. My legislative knowledge is well out of date but I recollect that there were some offences under the Environment Act 1995.
It would also be worth knowing what the powers are relevant to. I guess for interfering with fish, rather than landing a canoe.
So far I have not even had an acknowledgement from the Professional Standards.
The waiting continues.
Well done you did better than I would have under the same circumstances. I to suffer the same symptoms as described but don't share your patience :- 1st Action Ignore and hope he goes away 2nd action Explain my dilemma hope to appeal to his better nature. 3rd summon up my upbringing and generally polite nature and in a clear loud voice tell him to F*** **F
Never had much time for self important bullies especially when they are on the opposite bank in dry day clothes and I'm geared up to get wet
Remember unless he can prove without reasonable doubt that he has the power of arrest you are not required to give him any information or comply with any of his commands as long as you are commiting no criminal offence and then he still has to collar you. Best of luck sucker
Hind sight is always 20/20
good for you Doug don't let him get to you
I think the matter can be closed until the gillie offends another canoeist or river user, unfortunately I am sure he will do. Any unpleasantness from the gillie situated near to Hole-in-the-Wall on the River Wye should be reported to the police.
The Problem on the Wye
Face disguised to protect the !!!!!!!!
The police assure me that in the event of complaints about this persons bad behaviour, he will be dealt with, just make sure that you have all the details and a witness(es) prepared to make a formal statement.
Below is the correspondence from the Police Professional Standards and the West Mercia Police:
I had to remind them that they had not responded to my complaint:
19th April 2012
Dear Mr M,
Thank you for your email below. We would like to express our apologies for not previously acknowledging your email. We will assess the details that you have provided and advise you of how we intend to proceed at the earliest opportunity.
Professional Standards Department
The following is after I responded to the police answer.
10 May 2012
Dear Mr M,
Thank you for your reply.
I am sorry that you feel let down by police action at this time.
Please let me reassure you that now police have had cause to speak to the male in question, should we receive further complaints, we will be able to use information provided by you as evidence of previous bad behaviour.
I cannot disagree with your comment that "his version of events must be doubted". We, as police officers, deal with many incidents where two parties give differing version of events and unless we have independent witness evidence, we cannot usually prosecute or take matters further. Whilst I cannot speak for the officer in the other force that visited your friend, I believe that this was maybe what he tried to get across, albeit maybe not in the best manner.
I can only wish you a pleasant and hassle free trip in June, I understand that there is work ongoing to improve flow through the rapids at Symonds Yat.
I will send a copy of our correspondence to the police professional standards department so that they make make a final decision.
PS 1169 Dan Pilkington.
Dan Pilkington PS1169
B Shift - Ross On Wye
West Mercia Police
0300 333 3000
From: Doug M
Sent: 09 May 2012 23:44
Subject: Re: C0/00160/12- Complaint against police.
Dear PS Pilkington,
Thank you for your response. I am satisfied with your account of "told in no uncertain terms that the type of behaviour you described is unacceptable". The person concerned is a menace to river users and his anti-canoeist stance is unacceptable, especially on a river with a public right of navigation. The use of the river and its banks is enshrined in an Act of Parliament.
I have had a previous encounter with this person but I did not report that incident. I have been told that he features frequently in canoe hire customer reports as a bad point on their passage down the river.
His version of events must surely be doubted. He continued to state to PC Powell that he was employed by the Environment Agency as a water bailiff and that he had sent them a report. Yet the EA declared that this is not correct.
The problem with my friend's lack of statement was due to the officer that was to take the statement, pointing out to him that nothing will happen, therefore, it was not worth making an official statement. He persuaded my friend that his notes in his book would suffice, this was clearly incorrect and unhelpful. My friend signed the officers note book and that convinced him that it was official.
I will be on the River Wye in June with a group of students that I am training for their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Expedition. I sincerely hope that the gillie's behaviour is better and more tolerant of legitimate river users.
If this person does cause further trouble to any canoeist and is reported, I hope the police will take sterner and more timely action.
I do feel let down by the police in this instance but clearly there is no more I can do.
----- Original Message -----
To: Doug M
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 9:08 PM
Subject: C0/00160/12- Complaint against police.
Dear Mr M,
I have been asked by our professional standards department to contact you as an officer not involved in the above complaint.
I have spoken to officers involved in the process of this complaint and as far as I am able to do so, have ascertained the following:
The suspect in this matter has been spoken to by PC 2176 Powell about his conduct and behaviour. He has been told in no uncertain terms that the type of behaviour you described is unacceptable and that should police have cause to speak to him again about his conduct, it may result in a move severe penalty. He gives a different version of events to yours.
I have been informed that PC 2176 Powell made arrangements to have a statement taken from your friend by another force, with the intention that it may be used to try and prove a Public Order Act offence but that that your friend declined to give a statement. Without any additional evidence from an independent party, police were unable to consider Public Order Act offences or the instigation of the anti social behaviour process. We are now unable to proceed with any form of prosecution regarding a public order offence as the six month time limit in which to prosecute has long expired.
PS 3236 Boote has looked into legislation regarding the impersonation of an accredited person, but has advised that the legislation does not apply in this situation.
Are you able to please clarify if there is anything that the police can do which would resolve this matter to your satisfaction bearing in mind the points above?
PS 1169 Pilkington
Well OK, but I've got irrefutable evidence of verbal assault which has not been prosecuted because it was time barred (6 months).
Is the law being selectively applied?
Could someone please clarify the situation re stopping on the banks of the Wye. I recall reading somewhere that we can stop anywhere up to the top of the bank, ie up to the point that river would flow over into the fields in the event of a flood. What I'm not clear about (as there seem to be differing views) is what can I stop for. Is it just emergencies or can I stop for a brew or just a rest. I'm off down the Wye for a week again shortly and last year we came across several signs saying 'no landing' etc. It will be interesting to see how many there are this year after the recent case of the signs claiming to be supported by departments that knew nothing about them. It would be handy to know exactly what my rights are if I'm confronted whilst relaxing with a nice cuppa on the bank. Incidentally I remember many years ago my cousin telling me he'd had grief on many occasions at Hole in the Wall from 'our friend' when running school trips.
Just goin with the flow
The police didn't take the matter seriously in the beginning and only when I pushed things did I get a crime number. The police kept things going very slowly.
Yeah but Doug, how come they can just wave a 6 month time limitation in your neck of the woods, but rigidly enforce it in Norfolk? It's not fair.
I'll try and deal with your queries in the order they arise in your email: (Dane Broomfield)
I fail to see how the landowners can claim rights to obstruct the use of the banks. Own it or not, it is part of the Act. (My comment)
The banks are private property. However, there is a right of use over those parts of the bank which are part of the principal rivers as defined in the Order. The Order defines the principal rivers as:
- "the principal rivers" means -
- (a) that part of the river Wye from the downstream face of Bigsweir Bridge (reference point SO 538051) to Hay Town Bridge (reference point SO 228426); and
(b) that part of the river Lugg from its confluence with the river Wye to Presteigne Town Bridge (reference point SO 316646),
and includes their beds and banks;
The Order defines the banks as:
- "bank" means so much of any bank, wall, embankment, fence, wharf, quay or other feature (whether natural or artificial) as confines the waters of the rivers up to the level and the point of their overspill into the flood plain of the rivers;
Any reference to use in the river is also defined:
(2) References in this Order to the use of the principal rivers shall be construed as meaning such use as is, according to the principles of common law, reasonably incidental to their navigation.
Further guidance on how they may be used can be inferred from the offences created under Article 8 which states:
8. - (1) A master who navigates or uses the principal rivers -
(a) without due care and attention;
(b) in a manner liable to injure or endanger persons, other vessels, the bed or banks of the principal rivers or any structure or installation in or beside the principal rivers; or
(c) in a manner which does not show reasonable consideration for persons and property in, upon or about the principal rivers and their banks,
shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
Whilst the Order does not prescribe the uses which could be regarded as compliant with or conducive to the right to navigate, it does provide a framework within which to assess whether this is likely to be the case. The answers to the following questions would be key pointers in making that assessment:
1. Does the part of the bank being used fall within the definition of a bank over which the public has a right of navigation/use?
2. Is the use reasonably incidental to navigation? Reference to the Common Law principle of reasonably incidental.
3. Has the use been undertaken with due care and attention?
4. Has the use been undertaken in a manner not liable to injure or endanger persons, other vessels, the bed or banks of the river or any structure or installation in or beside the principal rivers?
5. Has the use been undertaken in a manner that shows reasonable consideration for persons and property in or about the principal rivers?
If the answer to these questions is "Yes", it is likely that the use would be regarded as lawful and fall within the definition of a public right of navigation under the Order. As such, it is unlikely that a prosecution for trespass could be sustained, and any obstruction or impediment to that navigation may be subject to removal by the Agency. On the other hand, anyone navigating other than in compliance with these principles, may be vulnerable to an action for trespass, and it would be legitimate for that use to be prevented. (Dane Broomfield)
In my opinion, "incidental use" where the navigator takes care not to cause damage or nuisance is observing the law and not trespassing. (My comment)
OK, sorry, misundertood It was this comment that prompted mine :
We are now unable to proceed with any form of prosecution regarding a public order offence as the six month time limit in which to prosecute has long expired.
It's just that an 'Ambassador' of the Angling Trust, Hugh Miles, has published a magazine article in which he boasts about "shouting in incandescent rage" at canoeists for trying to navigate the river Wensum during the closed fishing season. That constitutes a self confessed, nationally published, verbal assault. But it seems that there's nothing anyone can do about it, because it was outside of the 6 month prosecution period. But the magazine continues to be circulated freely.
Just an observation.
Last edited by sobranie; 11th-May-2012 at 04:44 AM. Reason: misunderstanding
Thanks for the info Doug, So as I see it, as long as I'm not bothering anyone I can stop for a brew....and maybe a piece of cake.
Just goin with the flow
I am very impressed with your calm and persistence... a job well done... the photo of the offender is pretty interesting... enough for anyone to know who they are dealing with if he shows up again (which I think is unlikely).... bullies like him and the razor wire man on the Avon seem to disappear pretty quickly when their bluff is called...
i still think that a large group rafting up and anchoring about 3 ft from the bank at the hole in the wall to have their lunch would be good fun.
after they would not be landing, just stopping.
this would be a good point to collect 'evidence' of abuse, as i'd put money on it that he would be unable to resist
nature is m X-box
The river runs quite slowly along "his stretch" before the Hole-in-the-Wall. I'm tempted to try a rafted drift along that bit, while I instruct my group of students on how to negotiate the rapid at Hole-in-the-Wall. Or is that too much devilment?
Would that be called entrapment?
My advice is behave yourself.
Just so you know where to behave, here is a map showing the danger area.
I passed through this section later in 2012 and had a brief exchange with Mr Cobley, he very politely pointed out that a number of anglers were active on the right bank and would I please keep closer to the left bank, I thanked him for the advice and he thanked me for moving slightly left. I have not heard of any hostile encounters since so lets hope the situation has been resolved.
"Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men"
Grp Cpt Sir Douglas Bader CBE,DSO,DFC,FRAeS.
Kayakers and non kayakers alike, please share this message .
Today a group of us travelled to Llangurig to paddle the River Wye, from Lllangurig to Rhayader, approximately 1 and a half miles from the put in we came across a length of barbed wire stretching the full width of the river, it had been made look like it could have got there by accident! Upon closer inspection it was obvious a new fence had recently been erected and remainder of the wire deliberately stretched across the river to cause harm to Kayakers and Canoeists travelling this river. The wire was wrapped around the trunk of a tree and looked to be loose, when I looked closer the wooden spool with which barbed wire is wrapped to make it easier to handle was hidden below the water behind the roots of a tree with a few metres of wire still wrapped around it.I have tried to remove the wire but was unable to get close enough to get the spool of wire out of the water and unwind it back around the trunk of the tree.
This kind of act is extremely dangerous and worst case scenario someone could die by drowning if they were to get snagged in this Deliberately set trap. Please like and share. Many thanks WKC Members
Has this been reported to the police?
I am contacting you to inform you of a potential major injury hazard to any individuals paddling the river Wye in your area. Please see ....
Clearly, I have no view on whether the hazard was placed intentionally or not given my location however it presents a serious danger to water users and as such, should be removed as soon as possible. Given the potential issues with land access to the site of the hazard, I felt it could be best to advise the local police of the issue. There appear to be many problems relating to river access in the UK, so I felt it best to refer this to the authorities.
I would however add that, should this truly have been placed intentionally, it presents a major danger and should be treated in the same way that tossing bricks from a motorway bridge would be. It is directly analogous."
Canoe outfitting packages in the Massif Central
Ref DP-20141019-321 should anyone need it
Canoe outfitting packages in the Massif Central
Has this been reported on the access map as well?