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Monday, 31 March 2014

New waterborne police unit will patrol Newlyn and Penzance harbours

Police in west Cornwall are taking to the water to tackle boat crime and other illegal activity around our coast.

The West Cornwall Marine Crime Unit is now on patrol after receiving specialist training from an organisation that supports Cornwall’s marine sector.  Operating from Falmouth and covering the south coast, the unit will provide a presence in harbours like Newlyn and Penzance where criminals can operate.

The unit aims to prevent thefts of boats and engines, antisocial behaviour and other illegal activity on the water – like the recent spate of lobster thefts from Newlyn fishermen.

The team are existing west Cornwall officers and Cornwall Marine Network trained 35 of them in VHF radio use, sea survival and powerboat handling.

PC Barry Nicholas, one of the members of the unit, said: “We had a number of high-profile marine thefts a year ago and in one case up to £30,000-worth of outboard motors were stolen in a weekend, so we identified a need for a greater police presence out on the water.”

The unit will provide a year-round visible deterrent, and as well as thieves will target illegal fishing, thefts, drug-trafficking or boat users who are speeding or under the influence of alcohol.

Paul Wickes, chief executive of the Cornwall Marine Network, said: “We were delighted to work in partnership with the police to support this very positive initiative.

“It’ll provide added security to Cornwall’s maritime businesses and those who enjoy time out on the water.  “We used our experience as a training provider for the marine sector to draw up a training plan and source the funding, which allowed the unit to be created.”

Read more: http://www.cornishman.co.uk/New-waterborne-police-unit-patrol-Newlyn-Penzance/story-20881827-detail/story.html#ixzz2xYIsJ7iN