Local ports included in crime crackdown

Sea ports on the North Yorkshire coastline have been included in a national crackdown on terrorism and serious organised crime.

A week of activity in the county was coordinated by the National Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters, involving officers from several police forces, the Border Force and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom.

Project Kraken is a national campaign to increase vigilance along the UK’s coastline and is part of the Government’s National Counter Terrorist Strategy.

On a national level they were targeting the illegal passage of cash, weapons, drugs, goods and people through British ports linked to criminal or terrorist-related activity.

Officers from North Yorkshire Police including Billy the drugs dog, Border Force staff from Hessle and Teesport, National Crime Agency, Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) and the Harbour Master took part in a port related scenario at Scarborough.

Special Constables then visited local businesses and public areas to raise awareness at Whitby, Staithes, Kettleness and Sandsend while Border Force staff visited boat and vessel owners at Whitby Marina to provide Kraken briefings and awareness.

National Police Lead for Counter Terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said: “Everyone has a role to play in defeating terrorism and those working at ports and involved in ports and travel industries can play an important part in helping to protect the whole of the UK from these threats.

“With the increased threat of terrorism, this week of activity has shown that the UK’s law enforcement agencies are working closer than ever to protect the public.

“This work goes on 52 weeks of the year, but as we approach the summer - and what is traditionally the busiest period of the year for our ports - this is a timely reminder of the work that police and others do on a daily basis to protect the public from such threats.”

Across the country officers seized 50kgs of heroin with a street value of over £2.5 million, over £500, 000 in cash and £75,000 worth of alcohol.