POLICE officer Mick Watson, the mastermind behind The Durham Angling Community Education Programme (DACE) that is now nationally known as ‘Get Hooked on Fishing’, crowned an extraordinary year by being awarded the coveted The Queens Police Medal for Distinguished Service in the New Years Honours list. Mick is the first recipient of this award in the North East Constabulary and it is yet another accolade for the work started some three years ago.
A spokesman for the Countryside Alliance commented: “The much-deserved award is one of the highest achievable to a serving police officer and the Countryside Alliance, especially the Campaign for Angling team, warmly congratulate Mick on this very well deserved recognition for the tireless work that he and his extraordinary group of helpers have done to champion young people at risk and offer them angling as a viable alternative to drugs, truancy and petty crime.
“The fact that this simple and effective mantra has been replicated throughout the country, and is seen by many regional police forces as a blue print for the future when dealing with many young people at risk, is purely down to Mick and his team’s industry. Industry that has been recognised by the Prime Minister, other government departments, as well national coaching schemes and the EA; all of which is purely down to Mick Watson and this bright new initiative.
“This scheme, along with others, is finally proving the worth of angling to a far wider audience. The Alliance is proud to continue its support of the Get Hooked on Fishing scheme, whilst maintaining it’s help in creating other avenues within the sport that will secure anglings place as the nations premier country sport, whilst benefiting communities nationwide.”