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Metropolitan Police launch Marine Watch

Metropolitan Police Service Media Release

The Marine Police Unit at work on the Thames (click on image to enlarge)
The Marine Police Unit at work on the Thames (click on image to enlarge)

Londoners can now register their boat and all the property onboard, including outboard engines on one intelligence database as part of the Marine Watch registration scheme which was launched on Monday 10 June, 2013.

The new registration scheme ensures that all enforcement agencies can work together with communities to make rivers and waterways safe for all by identifying suspicious behaviour and reducing crime and anti-social activity.

The Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency and London Port Authority are just some of the agencies which have signed up to the scheme, which was officially launched by the Metropolitan Police Service Marine Police Unit (MPU) at Teddington Lock, TW11 last week.

Marine Policing Unit Chief Inspector Mark Sheeran is confident the scheme will prove to be a worthy crime-fighting tool. He said: “Marine Watch will formalise police, partner agencies and river communities working together to prevent marine crime by greater reporting of criminal activity and the registration of boats and equipment on the Marine Watch Database and Immobilise.

"Marine Watch will support the intelligence link between the canal system, non-tidal and tidal Thames.”

Marine Watch is part of Operation Kraken and encourages all those that live or work on or near the Thames or London’s other rivers and canals to report crimes and suspicious or anti-social behaviour. Project Kraken is a national police initiative endorsed by The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) designed to increase awareness and enhance engagement within the UK’s maritime communities and to help improve the identification and reporting of crime and suspicious behaviour. 

The principle of Marine Watch is similar to that of Neighbourhood Watch Schemes that have been successfully running all across London and the UK for years.
It encourages maritime communities, and those that live alongside the river, to come together and set up small watch groups. Individuals can also register. The MPU and local borough officers can then work with these groups and individuals to identify and tackle local problems.

Denise Yelland, Enforcement & Licensing Manager at the Canal & River Trust, said: “We are working with the Metropolitan Police and other partners to make things safer for all those who live on and alongside London’s waterways. Marine Watch will help the police to target crime on our canals and rivers and we urge everybody who uses the towpaths regularly to sign up.”

Alistair Gale, Port of London Authority said: “The Port of London Authority welcomes this important initiative by the Police. ‘Marine Watch’ will help prevent and deter criminal and anti social activity on the tidal Thames and adjacent areas of water. We urge all boaters to sign up.”

As part of the Marine Watch registration process, the MPU are encouraging Londoners to register their boat details on the Marine Watch database, as well as marking property and registering it online with immobilise.com. This makes property less attractive to thieves and more likely to be identified when recovered. To find out more about immobilise.com, visit the website.

To register for the multi-agency Marine Watch registration scheme and to receive an information pack, please email or write to Marine Watch, Wapping Police Station, 98 Wapping High Street, London, E1W 2NE.

Please note the information provided as part of your Marine Watch registration will be handled in strict compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and is processed in accordance with our policing purpose as defined by the Code of Practice for the Management of Police Information (MoPI). For more information, please click here.

The benefits of signing up to Marine Watch include newsletters and updates, crime prevention advice, property marking sessions and bulk registration with immobilise.com, informative window stickers, key rings and dedicated email addresses.

Matt Carter, Environment Agency Waterways Manager, said: “We are very pleased to welcome the Marine Watch initiative onto the non-tidal Thames. The Environment Agency is fully supportive of any crime prevention measures that benefit our customers and works very closely with the Metropolitan, Surrey and Thames Police services.