The PLA's responsibilities in terms of port security are identified in the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code plus the Civil Contingencies Act.
As the statutory harbour authority for the Port of London, the PLA has also been designated a “strategic authority” by the UK Government, in respect of the requirements of the ISPS Code, and as a Category 2 Responder under the Civil Contingencies Act. This role includes responsibilities in respect of security matters in the wider port environment and impacts directly on the PLA’s internal security culture and arrangements, as well as those of the organisations it may be called to support.
Under the ISPS legislation, the PLA is obliged to:
- Develop and maintain an appropriate London Port Security Plan, which meets the requirements of the ISPS Code. Co-ordinate, communicate and facilitate the implementation of security measures required by the Plan to the port community as appropriate;
- Establish a Port Security Committee, comprising representatives of relevant port facility groups, regulators, agencies and other interested parties within the Port of London;
- Provide up to date advice, best practice and information on current security developments and on the implementation of the Port Security Plan, and Port Facility Security Plans to the port community;
- Co-ordinate and facilitate security training and testing of the Port Security Plan, and where necessary, co-ordinate the overall port response to a security incident; and
- Ensure the effective management and resourcing of internal security arrangements in order to meet the requirements of the London Port Security Plan.
Under the Civil Contingencies Act, the PLA has a responsibility to:
- support and inform Category 1 Responders in certain situations which, by definition, have security implications.
In addition, in the wider context of the PLA’s commitment to, and co-operation on security matters in the region, it is Board Policy that the PLA shall contribute effectively, as required and as circumstances permit to the co- ordination and improvement of national initiatives to deter, prevent and compromise maritime terrorist action.