Physical Security

Cornish date

by msecadm4921

Devon and Cornwall Police are running a marine crime prevention and sea safety day at Rock in Cornwall on Easter Sunday. The event will run from 11am to 4pm and partners including RNLI, Coastguard Rescue and the Royal Yachting Association will all be on hand to offer advice on marine safety and security.

Officers from Devon and Cornwall Police will have on display their new rigid hull inflatable boat ‘Stepper Point’. The boat is owned by Padstow Harbour Commissioners and will be used a police patrol vessel by the North Cornwall marine and coastal policing team.

A new marine crime prevention initiative will also be launched on the day. The marine and coastal policing team, in partnership with Rock Marine Services and Padstow Harbour Commissioners, have produced new crime awareness posters to be displayed on boats as they are launched onto moorings in the Camel Estuary.

These posters are designed to offer straightforward crime prevention advice to boat owners whilst also deterring potential thieves. They are part of a wider Boat Watch scheme, based on the same principles as Neighbourhood Watch.

Every year thefts of and from boats are reported to the police and these incidents cause heartache, inconvenience and considerable expense to boat owners but great reductions in incidents have been achieved when sailing communities and the police work together in the fight against criminals. North Cornwall communities and industries thrive on tourism based around our coastline and beaches so the marine and coastal policing team was created to make the area a safer and more secure place for everyone to enjoy.

Sergeant Andy Stewart said: “Officers on the team come from various policing backgrounds and all have a passion for the coastal area. We will ensure that people who take to the water do so safely and abide by the rules and by-laws. We will also be checking unattended boats for security, trying to prevent thieves operating within our area, and encouraging boat owners to sign up to our boat watch scheme. When officers from the team are not patrolling in the boat, they will gravitate towards the beaches and waterside communities where we have built relationships with the RNLI Lifeboat and Lifeguards teams, and local businesses.
“It is really important for people understand that we’re not trying to spoil anybody’s fun, but to make it fun and safe for everybody. Cornwall has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. It remains one of the safest places to enjoy your summer and our team would like to keep it that way!”

In October 2011 Stithians Lake Watersports Centre had over £13,000 worth of engines stolen. The centre is part of the South West Lakes Trust charity and has engines of all sizes available to offer sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and rowing to individuals, families, businesses and schools. After the theft PCSO Julia Berry visited the centre to see how she could support them and discussed the benefits of joining a local Boat watch scheme.

PCSO Berry said: “A theft of this size obviously has an enormous impact on a charity like the South West Lakes Trust and we wanted to try and minimise the chances of any further losses. I felt that the best way we could help would be to set up a partnership and use the Boat Watch scheme which has already proved successful in reducing marine crime.”

Boat Watch is a community scheme which operates in a similar way to Neighbourhood Watch schemes to prevent and detect crime and reduce the fear of crime. Dedicated coordinators in each area have a direct link to their local policing team and share information with them about any suspicious activity. Devon and Cornwall Police support schemes by providing recognisable materials, products and processes. These include specialist marine marking kits, which enable boat owners to invisibly mark their equipment with unique microdots that will identify the item should it be stolen and recovered somewhere else, and outboard engine covers which protect the engine and promote the fact that equipment is marked.

Community Safety Sergeant Steve Parr of Devon and Cornwall Police said “The Devon and Cornwall Boat Watch scheme is intended to support the many existing individual local schemes by promoting a common approach to sharing information, intelligence gathering, and protecting equipment.” After PCSO Berry’s visit the trust were convinced that they should join Boat Watch and decided to involve their other watersports centres at the same time. They have spent £1,000 in engine covers and marking kits for Stithians and for Roadford, Siblyback and Tamar lakes in Devon and Wimbleball Lake in Somerset.

Matt Loughlin, Chief Instructor at Stithians Lake Watersports Centre said: “With help from Devon and Cornwall Police we now feel more safe and secure and everyone can look forward to a full summer programme of watersports at Stithians Lake.”  

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