People living or working on and around the UK's coastline and waterways are being asked to report suspicious or unusual activity as part of a multi-agency law enforcement campaign.
Project Kraken - a joint initiative now being delivered by the NCA, Border Force and police forces - aims to increase public reporting and strengthen the general maritime industry's response to the threats.
Reporting channels have been simplified to make it easier for people across the country who live or work near the coastline and waterways, or who take part in water-based activities. They can contact either the police through the 101 number or Crimestoppers anonymously.
We want you to report any unusual or suspicious behaviour in these and other maritime environments. No matter how trivial it may seem; if it looks out of the ordinary, we want to know about it.
Whether you work in the maritime industries, are a keen sailor, or are just walking along the coast, your local knowledge and your experience of the maritime world means you are well placed to spot anything unusual.
By working together we can help to prevent terrorists and organised criminals posing a threat to your neighbours, your pastimes, your businesses and your livelihoods.
They will exploit any opening they find.
How you can help
We want you to report any unusual or suspicious activity near the coastline and in maritime environments.
This could include, among others:
- Boats with names or identification numbers painted out, altered or erased.
- People or packages landed or disembarked from boats in unusual locations and transferred into waiting vehicles. Why are they suspicious? Note times, locations, descriptions of vessels, persons, including boat names, sail numbers, hull colours or other distinctive markings. If vehicles are seen note make, registration, colour and nationality.
- Boats moving late at night or early in the morning in suspicious circumstances, showing little or no navigational lighting or signalling to persons or vehicles ashore.
- Boats which may be overloaded, appear low in the water, contain people who do not appear to be able to handle the vessel or are inadequately dressed for the prevailing weather conditions.
- Boats containing people who appear to be engaged in unusual boat handling techniques such as recovering swimmers or divers from the water.
- Rigid inflatable boats moving at unusual times or seen in unusual locations and fitted with extra fuel tanks.
- Suspicious requests to buy or store large amounts of fuel, satellite navigational equipment, gas bottles, chemicals, uniforms or badges.
- Suspicious or unfamiliar persons seen in marinas or coastal areas carrying tools, paying attention to or taking photographs of vessels with high value items such as engines and electronic navigational equipment.
- Suspicious persons who ask questions about security procedures or who are observed filming/taking photographs/making notes or drawing diagrams of: military/police/security facilities, vulnerable public areas such as bridges, tourist attractions, shopping, restaurant or passenger processing, embarkation/disembarkation routes at cruise ship, ferry terminals or docking facilities.
- Suspicious persons seen to abandon a vehicle onboard a ferry and walk ashore or who leave a vehicle in an unusual position in areas of high volume public or passenger access.
- Suspicious vessels observed entering maritime restricted areas or seen in close proximity to large cargo or passenger vessels whilst underway or at anchor.
- Suspicious persons seeking unusual instruction on the water such as diving, hiring powerboats, inflatable RHIBS or yachts. Who are they and where are they from? Obtain as much information as possible.
- Crew who show signs of nervousness or a lack of awareness of maritime protocols and customs.
- Vessels showing signs of unusual modification or minor damage.
- Increased activity at isolated coastal locations or at unusual times of the day.
- Any attempts to signal to vessels offshore or guide them into an unusual landfall.
- Strange patterns of payment, such as large amounts of cash.
What should you do?
If you see unusual or suspicious activity, report it to your local police on 101, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and quote 'Kraken'.
Record as much information as you can - the smallest detail could be significant. Do not take direct action against any individuals or groups.
If it is an emergency, call 999.