Police CPI, in conjunction with the Border Force-owned Project Kraken initiative, are working to raise awareness of marine crime.
New figures show that the sale of boats rose by 9% as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
British Marine said many people used the lockdown as an opportunity to look closer to home for their leisure activities, with boat sales going up in 2020, compared to the previous year.
Having spent a lot of money buying and maintaining a boat or other form of marine craft, the last thing anyone wants is to be a victim of crime.
While accurate crime statistics in this area are difficult to come by – marine crime is thought to be highly underreported – there have been notable increases in theft and damage of marine equipment.
Thieves are attracted to all kinds of things at marinas and sailing clubs –outboard motors, life rafts, electronic/GPS equipment – in fact, they’ll steal anything that takes their fancy – radios, mobile phones, laptops, fishing tackle, personal items and even the boat itself.
With this in mind, it is vitally important to make sure that your craft is secured along with the equipment onboard.
Police CPI, in conjunction with the Border Force-owned Project Kraken initiative, are working to raise awareness of marine crime and the steps boat owners can take to avoid becoming victims.
When thinking of marine security, think STORM
• Security – physical security measures
• Track – property marking & tracking systems
• Observe – keep an eye on your marina / sailing club
• Report suspicious activity
• Monitor at all times – CCTV and alarms
Don’t consider each of the measures in isolation – using a combination of physical and technical security measures will increase boat security and keep your possessions safe.
Developing this further, Police Sergeant Matthew Gransden, from Hampshire Constabulary’s Marine Unit, commented: “Marine crime is very difficult to try and impact upon without the support of owners and stakeholders – we have large quantities of very valuable property that is, by its nature, often left unattended in isolated locations for long periods.
“This means we’re predominantly alerted to acquisitive crime a significant time after the incident occurred and evidence can be hard to come by.
“Anything owners can do to reduce the time between occurrence and discovery is very helpful – regular checks and tracking or alerting devices offer good potential.
“Marine property is specialist, and we strongly encourage owners to be diligent in marking their property and recording serial numbers and photographic records of unique marks or modifications at the point of taking ownership.
“If they are then unlucky enough to be a victim of crime, the unique nature of marine items means there is an increased chance the property will be identified as stolen at a later date – Police Marine teams regularly struggle to prove ownership and reunite the rightful owners with their property.”
Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI) is a police-owned organisation that delivers a wide range of innovative and ground-breaking crime prevention initiatives to support the wider UK Police Service, Government and the general public.
Police CPI act as a catalyst to bring organisations together to reduce crime and create safer communities, working with the National Police Chiefs’ Council, central government, manufacturers, companies involved in security products (within the UK and those in countries that supply the UK) and standards authorities.
Police CPI’s Secured by Design (SBD) initiative operates an accreditation scheme on behalf of the UK Police Service for products or services that have met recognised security standards.
These products or services are known as being of a ‘Police Preferred Specification’. SBD is the only way for companies to obtain police recognition for security-related products in the UK, through the Police Preferred Specification.