Grampian Police launch Operation Kraken

Grampian Police launched a new scheme on March 1, to help protect the shorelines of the North East.

The scheme is part of a national initiative aimed at combating criminal activity not only within harbour areas but across all coastal regions.

Project Kraken is aimed at raising awareness of the criminal activity which can be committed at sea and the ways in which members of the public can help spot suspicious behaviour.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Billy Gordon said: “Project Kraken has been a success in England and Wales since it was first launched in Hampshire in 2007.

“Grampian Police is one of a number of Scottish forces launching the scheme and we are looking for members of the public, whether they live or work on the coast, to help us ensure harbours, ports and the Grampian coastline continue to be safe.

“Whilst it is hoped that Project Kraken will be a valuable tool in countering the threat of terrorism, the scheme has a wider purpose and we hope that by being vigilant we can ensure that our seas are a hostile environment for criminals to operate in.”

The following behaviour could be viewed as suspicious activity:

• Anyone filming, taking pictures or notes regarding significant buildings or locations such as bridges including docking procedures or security methods.

• Anyone loitering around maritime areas or prolonged activity in one area.

• Evasive answers to common boating questions

• Deliberate attempts to avoid contact with others or to draw attention

• Inappropriate equipment and knowledge for the environment

• Placing objects into waterways near bridges or pipes at unusual times

• Vessels or fishermen entering restricted maritime areas

• Attempts to test security and response times when entering restricted areas.

• Efforts to gain employment at sensitive sites

• Inappropriate large cash payments for daily extension of marina or port mooring

• Consecutive round trips on the same ferry

Anyone wishing to report any suspicious behaviour in the waters around the North East should contact the Grampian Police service centre, quoting Project Kraken, on 0845 600 5 700 or anonymously on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If the situation requires an emergency response the call should be directed through the usual 999 number.