Project Kraken keeps watch for coastline crime

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Marine workers, sailors and skiffies around the Argyll  coast and the rest of the UK are being asked to be the eyes of a major enforcement operation tackling serious criminals.

Project Kraken, covering more than 11,000 miles of British mainland coastline plus its islands, wants water-users to be  on look-out, reporting anything suspicious that they might spot.

Boats arriving at unusual times or to isolated locations, a nervous crew,
people making attempts to signal or guide boats offshore, large cash payments offered for maritime equipment and people being somewhere they should not be are just some of the activities being flagged up to would-be watchers.

Last month, members of Border Force were at a skiff gathering on Loch Tummel, attended by Seil and Loch Awe skiff clubs as well as others across the whole of Scotland, including Uist and Orkney, to raise awareness.

The National Crime Agency and the National Police Chiefs’ Council are also part of the joint law enforcement targeting maritime threats to the UK.

‘No matter how trivial it may seem; if it looks out of the ordinary, we want to know about it,’ said a Border Force spokesman.

Types of crime range from people smuggling to drugs. So far, other than routine awareness raising, there have been no Project Kraken arrests or seizures in the Argyll and Bute area.

Anyone who does sees unusual or suspicious activity should report it to police on 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and quote Kraken.

People are warned not to approach individuals or groups directly. In an emergency, they should call 999.