Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI) are joining the police and the independent charity Crimestoppers this week at one of the biggest boat shows in the country, to raise awareness of the rise in theft of marine equipment and highlight the steps that can be taken to prevent this.
Police CPI will be manning a stand at the Boat Show, which is in its 52nd year, from Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th September, and officers from the Hampshire Constabulary Marine Support Unit will be in attendance at the show with a catamaran and RIB, subject to any operational requirements.
PC Ben Popham, from the Marine Support Unit, said: “We are really looking forward to being at the Southampton International Boat Show with our partners. This is a great opportunity for us talk with the marine community and commercial stakeholders, discussing what is important to them and offering advice on how we can work together to tackle current issues and prevent crime.”
Guy Ferguson, CEO of Police CPI, says, “We are at the show because we want to prevent marine theft and the show is the perfect opportunity for us to support officers from the local marine unit as they talk to the boat owners and water sports enthusiasts, raising awareness to prevent boats or their equipment being stolen.”
Emily van der Lely, Crimestoppers Regional Manager said “Crimestoppers Hampshire and IoW Volunteer Committee are delighted to be invited to support this event and provide the public with information on the charity’s anonymous reporting service.
“Boats can be an easy target for opportunist thieves, especially if they're not secured properly. Those enjoying the water can often witness suspicious individuals or activities and we are keen to remind them that Crimestoppers is an alternative reporting service available to them 24/7 via our freephone number 0800 555 111 or our secure anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org. Committee volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions and to support the STORM analogy.”
The Southampton International Boat Show takes place from 10-19 September 2021 in Europe’s largest purpose-built marina.
Police advice is to always think STORM when looking at marine security:
Security – physical security measures
Track – property marking & tracking systems
Observe – keep an eye on your marina / sailing club
Report suspicious activity
Monitor at all times – CCTV and alarms
Security (physical security measures)
Make sure your cockpit lockers are properly locked and keep unused ropes, fenders and other items out of sight. Check that your main hatch and fore-hatch are locked with a Secured by Design approved padlock. Think about having a small Secured by Design approved safe or security cabinet onboard to store small valuable items. If your boat is stored on a trailer, take extra steps to make sure that it’s secure. At the very least you should have a Secured by Design approved wheel clamp, hitch lock and ground anchor system.
Track (property marking & tracking systems)
Security marking your outboard and electronic equipment using a Secured by Design recognised forensic asset marking or etching kit is a highly effective, visible deterrent to thieves and an established method of reducing theft. Keep a record of serial numbers on valuables like your radio, navigation equipment or outboard motor, chassis and model numbers for trailers and take note of any custom marks on the trailer or boat. Keep a copy of the list at home and on your boat. Take colour photographs from several angles and additionally take a video with a smartphone.
Fit a Tracking system – consider using a tracking system on your boat or yacht and especially your outboard engine to increase the chances of recovery. They activate once the vessel or outboard is stolen and alert the tracking company who use GPS systems and other communication technologies to locate the stolen property in the UK and importantly overseas. Secured by Design have several members which specialise in this area and can advise on the best system for you.
Observe (keep an eye on your marina / sailing club)
Most marinas have on-site CCTV and restrict access to the site, however, you still need to look out for each other and be a good neighbour. Get to know other boat owners in your marina and work together to keep the marina secure.
Keep an eye on other boats, as well as your own. Always keep the marina gate closed. Don’t give your marina access card or key to other people. Never tell anyone else the access code to the marina. Don’t let strangers into the marina, however genuine they may seem.
Report suspicious activity
Report any strangers at the marina to the harbour master or yard master. Be vigilant at all times in and around the water and report anything suspicious to the Police. Use the 101 facility for passing information or 999 in an emergency.
Monitor at all times (CCTV and alarms)
It’s a good idea to fit an alarm and use a visible sticker to say that one is installed. If you don’t have mains power, consider using a battery-operated GSM mobile alert system and camera which can alert you to anything suspicious or if the main hatch has been opened.
If you have pontoon facilities and Wi-Fi technology there are systems which can be linked to your phone and tablet to alert you to any activation, allowing you to view your boat or yacht in real time. For further information about alarms visit the Secured by Design Alarm Advice page.
CCTV can be a deterrent and help protect your boat or yacht.
Secured by Design
Police CPI’s Secured by Design initiative operates an accreditation scheme on behalf of the UK Police Service for products or services that have met recognised security standards. These products or services – which must be capable of deterring or preventing crime - are known as being of a ‘Police Preferred Specification’.
The Police Preferred Specification scheme has been operating for over 20 years. It requires that a security product meets or exceeds the performance expectations as documented within the relevant security standard for that type of product. It ensures that the product is sufficiently robust to resist physical attack by casual and opportunistic criminals. The SBD focus is on the critical factors that combine to deliver a product’s performance - design, use, quality control and the ability to deter or prevent crime.
The Secured by Design website http://securedbydesign.com contains details of the many hundreds of companies who produce over 7000 individual attack resistant crime prevention products in more than 30 different categories that have met the exacting Police Preferred Specification. This includes doors, windows, external storage, bicycle and motorcycle security, locks and hardware, asset marking, alarms, CCTV, safes, perimeter security products and many others.
SBD is the only way for companies to obtain police recognition for security-related products in the UK. If the product is not listed on the SBD website, it’s not currently a Secured by Design accredited product.
To find out more about protecting your boat and about security products which have achieved Police Preferred Specification, visit: https://www.securedbydesign.com/guidance/crime-prevention-advice/vehicle-crime/marine-security-advice-project-storm
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