Police appeal for vigilance around coastline

PEOPLE are being asked to keep an eye open for suspicious activity around the area’s coastline as part of a new scheme launched by Grampian Police.

Started last Tuesday, Project Kraken is part of a national scheme to combat criminal activity across the whole coastal region as well as harbour areas.

It aims to raise awareness of the criminal activity which can be committed at sea and the ways in which members of the public can help spot suspicious behaviour.

Temporary assistant chief constable Billy Gordon said: “Project Kraken has been a success in England and Wales since it was first launched in Hampshire in 2007.

“Grampian Police is one of a number of Scottish forces launching the scheme and we are looking for members of the public, whether they live or work on the coast, to help us ensure harbours, ports and the Grampian coastline continue to be safe.

“Whilst it is hoped that Project Kraken will be a valuable tool in countering the threat of terrorism, the scheme has a wider purpose and we hope that by being vigilant we can ensure that our seas are a hostile environment for criminals to operate in.”

Suspicious activity could include anyone filming, taking pictures or notes about significant buildings or locations such as bridges including docking procedures or security methods; anyone loitering around maritime areas or prolonged activity in one area; evasive answers to common boating questions; deliberate attempts to avoid contact with others or to draw attention; inappropriate equipment and knowledge for the environment and placing objects into waterways near bridges or pipes at unusual times.

The force is also warning people to be wary of vessels or fishermen entering restricted maritime areas, attempts to test security and response times when entering restricted areas, efforts to gain employment at sensitive sites, inappropriate large cash payments for daily extension of marina or port mooring and anyone making consecutive round trips on the same ferry.

Anyone wishing to report any suspicious behaviour in the waters around the region’s coastline can contact the Grampian Police service centre, quoting Project Kraken, on 0845 600 5 700 or anonymously on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.