Officers from Devon & Cornwall Police in South Devon are working alongside local communities and other agencies to make people aware of coastal crime in an initiative called Project Kraken.

This is a national initiative which aims to raise awareness of terrorism and criminal or suspicious activity around our coasts

Coastal crime is anything that has an impact on, or happens around, our coasts and borders. Types of water-based crime include theft, smuggling and criminal damage.

Chief Inspector Miranda Pusey said: ‘We are lucky enough to be surrounded by some beautiful coastal areas, with many boat ports, marinas and docks across South Devon. But with these locations, it also presents an opportunity for people who are looking to commit crime in our waters and surrounding towns.

‘A really effective way to take a stand against coastal crime is through education, which is why we’re reaching out to our communities. We do know that education alone isn’t the answer; so our officers, who are trained to spot the signs of costal crime, will be conducting regular patrols along coastal areas of South Devon to safeguard and reassure local communities. 

‘We are also working closely with partners, like the harbourmasters, to make sure we have a robust plan in place to make our waters an uncomfortable place for people who are looking to commit crime, deterring them from both land and sea.’

Some of the common things to look out for, which may be a sign of criminal or terrorist activity on our waters, include avoiding answering common boating questions, deliberately avoiding contact with other people, or drawing attention to themselves; putting objects into the water near bridges, pipes, or infrastructure or making attempts to signal or guide boats offshore

‘It’s important that if you see something that doesn’t look or feel right that you report it,’ added Chief Inspector Pusey.

‘Over summer, we see an increase of holiday-makers visiting our towns, so by working together, we can all play an essential part in keeping everyone safe.’

If you suspect a possible coastal crime taking place, call the Coastal Crime Line on 0800 011 3304 and quote Project Kraken.