NOTE: This content is old – Published: Wednesday, Sep 25th, 2019.
A police boss swapped catching criminals for catching fish when he visited an angling club.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones hooked a two pound roach when he went to see the Connah’s Quay Angling Club at the Rosie pool in Wepre Park.
But unlike the criminals he apprehended during his 30-year career as a police officer, the juicy fish had a narrow escape – the former inspector threw in back in the water.
Mr Jones had dropped in to see how the grant he has given them is being spent on building new fishing pegs or platforms and much needed repairs to old pegs at the picturesque pool
The club was awarded £2,500 which included cash seized from criminals and Mr Jones dropped by to see how the money is being spent.
The grant was awarded as part Your Community Your Choice initiative is aimed at organisations who pledge to run projects to tackle anti-social behaviour and combat crime and disorder in line with the priorities within the Police Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.#
[Police and Crime Commissioner, North Wales Arfon Jones visits Connah’s Quay and District Angling Club at the Rosie fishing lake, Wepre Park, Connah’s Quay. PCC Arfon Jones fishing with (Front L/R) Assistant Chief Constable Sacha Hatchett, Cllr Ian Smith chair Town Council, (Back (L/R) Mike Hodson Bailiff, Daren Bunce chairman, Kath Williams Bailiff, Alan White Vice Chairman, Nick Hughes Bailiff and Cllr Ian Dunbar. Picture; Mandy Jones]
The scheme is supported by North Wales Police and the North Wales Police and Community Trust.
According to the club, the upgraded facilities will give them the opportunity to get even more young people involved in the sport.
Mr Jones said: “If this donation helps Connah’s Quay and District Angling Club turn just one young life around then it will have been more than worth it.
“The club really is impressive and the enthusiasm is just wonderful to see. The benefit to the community from what the club does is clear and to see so many young people here fishing and enjoying the fresh air is fantastic.
“The money we have been able to give them will be well used. I can see the existing fishing pegs or platforms are very much in need of an upgrade and the fact they are adding more is good news and will mean even more young people and families can benefit from what is a brilliant sport.
“This is about getting young people off the streets and giving them an interest, something they can get excited about. It’s so impressive to see families here with different generations taking advantage of the Fish Early, Fish for Life programme.”
He added: “I have even had a go myself and I have to say you don’t lose it. Its many years since I have fished but I managed to hook a two pound roach in less than a minute! I’ve even been given a certificate which I’m very proud of!”
[Thelma Fluitt, six, of Connah’s Quay, an Ysgol Wepre pupil, said: “My mum brought me and I love fishing. I’ve already caught seven. I think it’s brilliant!” ]
Alan White, the Vice Chair of Connah’s Quay and District Angling Club, said: “The £2,500 grant will be added to a grant we have had from Sport Wales and some of our own club funds so we can undertake this important construction work.
“It means we can carry out the work in one go so it’s less disruption and stress to our fishing stock, less disruption to club members and the public who enjoy walking around the Rosie pool.
“Each year we net the pool and remove smaller fish which are donated to a Buckley pool. That improves the oxygen levels for bigger fish and means those larger fish can grow with less competition.
“We have several species of carp in the pool, roach, rudd, bream, tench, gudgeon and eels while above the surface we often see kingfishers and have several species of ducks that live on and around the pool.”
The club, which has more than 245 members, is taking part in a programme, Fish Early, Fish for Life that’s aimed at getting more young people involved in the sport.
He added: “It’s a wonderful programme that is proving very popular. The club provides all the equipment, bait and coaching to young people aged from three up to 15 so they learn to fish responsibly and also learn how to take care of the environment.
“It’s proving very popular although interestingly we are seeing more young girls giving the scheme a try. As a club we now have around 30% female membership too.
“The new fishing pegs, or platforms, we are going to be adding will mean a great deal and will give us the opportunity to get even more young people involved in the sport.”
The police and crime commissioner was joined on the visit by Sacha Hatchett, North Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable.
Sacha Hatchett said: “It’s really wonderful to see different generations here enjoying the environment in what is a really picturesque place. It’s an amazing facility for the whole community to enjoy whether they are anglers or not.
“The club is actively encouraging people of all abilities to give angling a try and I’m delighted to hear their future plans include a better pathway around the pool which will be even more disabled friendly.”
She added: “I’m so pleased that this grant money is being put to such good use. To see so many children here is really good. This has to be better for them than playing computer games.
“This money from the Your Community Your Choice initiative supported by the North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT) will help the club progress and offer even more facilities to families and young people.
“Giving young people a focus and something that interests them can only help reduce anti-social behaviour.”
Connah’s Quay South Labour councillor Ian Dunbar says the angling club is a real benefit to the whole community.
He said: “The Rosie pool is a wonderful community facility. Members of Connah’s Quay and District Angling Club have worked hard in maintaining the pool which is rented from Flintshire County Council.
“Trees and vegetation has been cut back allowing the pool to get more oxygen. As well as that, silt has been removed which benefits fish and wildlife in general.
“The new fishing pegs, or platforms, that will now be added thanks to this grant will be a huge benefit to the club and its members.
“The club has a strong membership and its wonderful seeing so many young people taking up the sport.”
Amanda Bennett, a mobile phone company sales support team leader, of Connah’s Quay took along her son Jack Breckon, six, a pupil of Connah’s Quay’s Ysgol Caer Nant, and her dad Mike Bennett, to have a go at the angling club’s Fish Early, Fish for Life programme.
She said: “It’s a six weeks programme and we signed up for it to give Jack a new interest. It’s certainly better than seeing him sat playing on a computer and it’s so relaxing.
“It’s also such a beautiful setting. It’s amazing to hear that money seized from criminals is coming back into the community and benefitting everyone. It can only help the community.”