Boat to beat crime wave
PUBLISHED: 16:11 21 May 2008 | UPDATED: 09:46 23 August 2010
TERRORISTS and people traffickers will be targeted by a new £150,000 state-of-the-art police boat. Mike Fuller, chief constable of Kent Police, unveiled the 53-foot Alexandra III which will be used to protect the county and the national borders. A namin
TERRORISTS and people traffickers will be targeted by a new £150,000 state-of-the-art police boat.
Mike Fuller, chief constable of Kent Police, unveiled the 53-foot Alexandra III which will be used to protect the county and the national borders. A naming ceremony was held at the Port of London Authority (PLA) in Gravesend. The boat will be based at Sheerness and crewed by three officers.
Chief Constable of Kent Police, Michael Fuller, said: "This boat will be invaluable in increasing our capability and visibility around the Kent coast and in the county's waterways. It will dramatically enhance the work we already do with our colleagues in other police forces and agencies and help prevent the use of our coast and rivers for organised crime and terrorism.
"With its crew, it will act as a virtual floating police station and provide protection and service to everyone in Kent. It will also patrol the expanding Thames Gateway and the wider maritime community."
The vessel joins Kent Police's two smaller high-speed rigid hull inflatable boats working alongside Essex Police. It will perform a range of functions including high-visibility patrols and counter terrorism and will also be used to tackle people trafficking and smuggling.
The 33-tonne Alexandra III was bought for £150k by the Police Authority as part of its commitment to buy a marine boat following the police council tax rise last year.
Ann Barnes, Chair of the Kent Police Authority, officially named the Alexandra III, in the launching ceremony held at the PLA, Royal Pier Road, Gravesend.
She said: "I'm really pleased to have this new asset that will act as our main police boat on the river. Those who live or work by the sea will hopefully notice a police presence on the waters.
In 2008 an effective police force has to be able to stretch from dealing with localised problems to international organised crime and terrorism.
"We made a commitment to the people of Kent to invest in specialist units helping to prevent the threat of water borne criminality - we now have the tool to do just that."
The arrival of the Alexandra III marks the first time Kent Police has had a marine boat since 1995.