Campaign to target coastline criminals

Lothian and Borders Police is launching a campaign to crack down on coastline crime.

The force wants to encourage people to recognise possible criminal or terrorist activity along the Berwickshire and East Lothian coastline.

Already running in many UK regions, Project Kraken encourages members of the maritime community to call the police if they see anything suspicious or out of the ordinary in the force’s coastal regions and waterways.

Community officers will distribute waterproof stickers and information leaflets featuring the force’s telephone number to those who live, work and spend leisure time on the coast, including local business people, fishermen and yachtists.

Beermats will also be used in local pubs, and a large portable adtrailer featuring the Project Kraken logo, phone number and website will be brought to events such as sailing regattas.

Members of the community are being asked to watch out for people who are

•attempting to test security and response times when going into restricted areas;

•taking pictures and making notes, and spending prolonged periods of time in the one place

•buying unusual equipment, chemicals, uniforms, badges etc.

•who are clearly not local and whose actions do not fit into the daily routine of the area.

Chief inspector Peter McGrath, said: “People who spend a lot of time on the coast are the most likely to spot when something is not quite right. While it’s almost impossible to say what a criminal or terrorist might look like, what a person does or says can become suspicious depending on the place they are in. Likewise, an unexpected vessel or cargo in a small port or marina may cause concern amongst those who live, work and relax in that environment.

“Project Kraken has been designed to help collect and assess whether reports we receive need any further attention, and allows us to respond appropriately.”