Have you seen suspicious activity on the water? Police launch Project Kraken ahead of maritime crime season
The organisers of Falmouth Boat Watch, the police run group which shares information about local marine crime, have warned owners to be extra vigilant as summer approaches.
PCSO Chris Braddon, who runs the group said now is the time of year that reports of marine crime increase, and reminded residents of Project Kraken, the joint initiative between the NCA, Border Force and police forces which aims to increase public reporting and strengthen the general maritime industry’s response to the threats.
He said: “We want you to report any unusual or suspicious behaviour in these and other maritime environments. No matter how trivial it may seem; if it looks out of the ordinary, we want to know about it.
“Whether you work in the maritime industries, are a keen sailor, or are just walking along the coast, your local knowledge and your experience of the maritime world means you are well placed to spot anything unusual.
“By working together we can help to prevent terrorists and organised criminals posing a threat to your neighbours, your pastimes, your businesses and your livelihoods.”
Things to look out for include: Boats with names or identification numbers painted out, altered or erased; people or packages landed or disembarked from boats in unusual locations and transferred into waiting vehicles; boats moving late at night or early in the morning with little or no navigational lighting, or signalling to shore; boats which may be overloaded or badly handled, or containing people who appear to be engaged in unusual boat handling techniques; RIBs moving at unusual times or locations, with extra fuel tanks.
People should also be aware of suspicious requests to buy or store large amounts of fuel, satellite navigational equipment, gas bottles, chemicals, uniforms or badges; suspicious or unfamiliar persons seen in marinas or coastal areas paying attention to or taking photographs of vessels, or asking questions about security procedures or who observing military, police, security facilities or public areas; suspicious people abandoning a vehicle in an unusual position; suspicious vessels observed entering restricted areas or in close proximity to large vessels whilst underway or at anchor; crew who show signs of nervousness or a lack of awareness; vessels showing signs of unusual modification or minor damage.
If you see unusual or suspicious activity, report it to local police on 101, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and quote Project Kraken.
Record as much information as you can – the smallest detail could be significant.