Crackdown on maritime crime

REPRESENTATIVES of organisations and businesses from the maritime communities of Angus, Dundee and Perthshire met with police officers from Tayside Police last week at the launch of Project Kraken.

The project is a national initiative designed to better connect maritime communities to prevent maritime related crime including terrorism by identifying and reporting suspicious activity.

Superintendent Rick Dunkerley, the lead Tayside Police officer for developing the national initiative locally, said: “Project Kraken builds on the existing engagement of Tayside Police officers at the heart of our local maritime communities by providing an additional way for those who work, live or have a connection to our maritime communities to share information about suspicious activity.

“Those who are part of their local maritime community are best placed to identify suspicious activity, a possible indicator of criminality, and I encourage them to contact Tayside Police to share this information with our Project Kraken team.

“We are fortunate that in the Tayside policing area reported crime at our ports and in other maritime areas is low, however crime does exist and we believe that Project Kraken is an initiative which, when working together, will assist our maritime communities to fight crime and bring criminals to justice while protecting the vulnerable.”

Project Kraken is a national initiative set up to increase vigilance in the maritime environment and assist the protection of communities, and to create a hostile environment to criminals wishing to disrupt our every day lives. It is about getting people to work together in partnership to maintain the security and safety of communities.

Anyone who works in the maritime environment, such as local fishermen or harbour employees, can help counter crimes by being alert to their surroundings and reporting unusual or suspicious behaviour.

A spokesman commented: “By passing on this information you will increase maritime safety and reduce criminal behaviour. You will help towards the safety of our harbours, ports and coastline for anyone using them or visiting them legitimately.”

Project Kraken will be co-ordinated in the Tayside area by officers working in the maritime policing environment. To contact Tayside Police about suspicious activity in this environment call should be made in most cases to the non-emergency reporting telephone line 0300 111 2222. However, in an emergency or for a crime in progress, call 999.

The spokesman continued: “Unusual and suspicious are key words. If there is anything ‘unusual’ or ‘suspicious’ about a person, or indeed a vessel or its cargo, then please contact us. If you live, work or relax in maritime areas you will instantly notice something out of place and if you do so, we ask that you report it to us.”

To join Project Kraken contact Tayside Police by e-mail at ports@tayside.pnn.police.uk or call on 0300 111 2222.