The Small Ports Unit of Dorset Police

The Small Ports Unit of Dorset Police are a team of detective officers dedicated to protecting the national security of the  UK  and to counter the threat from terrorism, espionage and organised major crime including drugs trafficking, pedophile and child abduction offences and arms trafficking.

They also gather intelligence and information about all aspects of crime including smuggling and illegal immigration.

They gather this information by monitoring traffic entering and leaving the UK, speaking to the captains and passengers of aircraft and vessels and building strong relationships with the owners and operators of airfields and marinas.

The unit covers the whole of the Dorset coastline, including our numerous marinas, slipways and inlets. They also have responsibility for monitoring all general aviation flights into and out of Dorset from all of our many airfields. To assist the unit they regularly liaises with harbour masters, coastguard and lifeboat staff and the many communities who live in and around our airfields and coastline.

One of the responsibilities of the Dorset Police Small Ports Unit is to police all marinas and liaise with marine communities in relation to the potential terrorist threat to our county. If you witness any suspicious sea port behaviour as listed below they advise contacting the police immediately:

    * Unusual boat movements late at night or early in the morning.

    * People being landed at unusual locations.

    * People not knowing about boat handling.

    * People with inadequate dress for sailing.

    * Boats moving around at night time with no navigational lighting.

    * RHIBS or small craft being loaded / unloaded at unusual times.

    * RHIBS or small craft being loaded / unloaded at unusual places.

    * Packages being transferred out at sea from larger boats.

    * Packages being transferred to waiting cars.

    * Strangers acting suspiciously within the marina.

    * Strangers wanting to hire boats.

    * Boats with extra fuel tanks.

    * Boats with above average crew for the size of boat.

If you notice anything suspicious or unusual:

    * Never involve yourself.

    * Never touch any suspicious packages.

    * Make a note of any registration numbers, markings or descriptions.

The Small Ports Unit may meet yachts, boats and ships as they enter or leave one of our ports or marinas. They often speak to members of this community as they go about their business to ensure they are safe and ask whether they have any concerns, which may affect the wider community. Occasionally this may involve boarding  vessels and if absolutely necessary, examining travel documents for those onboard.

project kraken logo for web

Enhancing their role ‘Project Kraken’ delivers a high profile crime and counter terrorist ‘vigilance’ capability within the maritime environment along the coast of Dorset. It engages key stakeholders together with local communities to provide a hostile environment to terrorists and criminals looking to disrupt the everyday lives and safety of those who live, work, or travel through our waters. Find out More

Through enhanced criminal and counter terrorist awareness and a promotion in the exchange of information, Dorset can continue to be a safe place to live, work and relax for all.

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