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Protecting our coastlines

The North Yorkshire Police Ports Unit was established in 2001.  It is responsible for policing the airfields and maritime sites in our county, and for making sure that they comply with the legislation that protects the UK from security threats and organised crime such as smuggling, contraband and illegal immigration.

Project Kraken logo

In North Yorkshire we have some 40 miles of coastline, which covers Staithes down to Rood Hood’s Bay, Whitby, Ravenscar, Scarborough, Filey and Humanby and numerous beaches and marinas. North Yorkshire Police area also covers a network of navigable waterways giving access to the sea, such as the Rivers Ouse and Ure,as well as Ripon and Selby canals.

At North Yorkshire Police we are actively contributing to Project Kraken, an initiative that involves the maritime and waterways communities working together with police and other agencies, to provide a hostile environment to terrorism and serious and organised crime and forms part of the Governments National Counter Terrorist Strategy, CONTEST.

How you can help us

We encourage members of the public and the maritime community to report any suspicious or criminal activity involving vessels, cargoes and/or people within ports, marinas and waterways.  If you do see something suspicious, do not take direct action yourself or reveal your suspicions.  Contact the police immediately on 101 and quote Project Kraken.

During normal office hours you can also call the Ports Unit direct on 01609 643 584.  Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

What to look for

Do not take direct action or reveal your suspicions:

  • 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 people 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 peoplewho 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
  • People who 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
  • People 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.