Highland Life logo

Highland Life / News / Northern Constabulary News / Northern Constabulary launches Project Kraken in bid to combat the threat of terrorism at ports

Northern Constabulary launches Project Kraken in bid to combat the threat of terrorism at ports

Issued: 20 Sep 2010

Northern Constabulary today launched Project Kraken to encourage members of the public to assist Police and partner agencies in combatting the threat of terrorism in the Highlands and Islands.

Project Kraken delivers an enhanced crime and counter terrorist 'vigilance' capability within the maritime environment of the Highlands and Islands.

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 the Highlands and Islands Portal.

PC Richard Scott, who works for the Force's Ports Policing Unit, said: "Through enhanced criminal and counter terrorist awareness and a promotion in the exchange of information, the Highlands and Islands Portal can continue to be a safe place to live, work and relax for all."

How does Project Kraken work?

Project Kraken, through the provision of a central phone number, provides a mechanism for the reporting of unusual activity or behaviour within the maritime environment, believed or suspected to be linked to acts of crime or preparatory acts of terrorism.

Whilst it is almost impossible to say with any certainty what a criminal or terrorist might look like, an individual¿s activity or behaviour can become suspicious in the context of the location they are in.

Likewise, the unexpected or unusual presence of a vessel or a particular cargo within a small port or marina might just cause reason for concern by those who live, work and relax in that particular environment on a regular basis.

PC Scott added: "Project Kraken provides for the collation and assessment of all information and intelligence relating to such suspicious activity or behaviour in circumstances that could be linked to criminal or terrorist activity or acts of a preparatory nature.

"It allows for the appropriate deployment of assets and resources from Northern Constabulary and its partner agencies in response to a potential or defined threat."

What to look for

* Filming adjacent to energy-related critical infrastructure, military bases, bridges and significant infrastructure.

* Filming security procedures whilst loitering around maritime facilities.

* Evasive answers to common boating questions; deliberate attempts to avoid contact with others or draw attention.

* Lack of or inappropriate equipment and knowledge for the environment.

* Insertion of strange objects into the waterways near bridges, pipes or critical infrastructure at unusual times or without normal support.

* Vessels entering designated maritime restricted areas (ex. Adjacent to nuclear power plants, airports etc.) or fishermen in non-typical locations.

* Suspicious characters or rentals. Someone asking to alter the usual route or trip a charter takes.

* Inappropriate large cash payments, daily extension of marina or port mooring.

* Efforts to gain employment at sensitive sites or with outside agencies who have access to potential targets.

* Deliberate recording of departure / docking procedures to include loading and off-loading of vehicles.

* Filming of security procedures / ID checks within a ferry terminal facility.

* Suspicious craft in close proximity to vessels underway and at the docking facility.

* Attempts to abandon a vehicle onboard a ferry and walk ashore.

* Consecutive round trips on the same ferry.

* Persons walking around the vessel, independent of each other, taking notes ostensibly on operations and meeting as a group after their observations are recorded to compare notes.

What are the signs of Criminal or Terrorist Activity?

* Tests of Security - Attempts to test security and response times when entering restricted areas.

* Surveillance - Individuals taking pictures and making notes. Prolonged activity in one area.

* Equipment - Individuals buying unusual equipment, chemicals, uniforms, badges etc.

* Suspicious Characters - People who are clearly not local and whose actions do not fit into the daily routine of the area.

What do we ask of you?

Quite simply, to call the central number whenever you see any activity or behaviour that you feel is suspicious, and which may be connected with any preparatory acts of terrorism or criminal activity. We are also asking users and residents of the Highlands and Islands Portal to register to Project Kraken free of charge.

As a registered member of Project Kraken you will receive timely information updates by email, and a quarterly newsletter providing a summary of national and international incidents that might be of interest. In addition, you will be added to an email distribution list, which will be used, when appropriate, to circulate urgent information and intelligence updates.

There may also be times that we may wish to contact you with specific reports and request that you assist us in 'observing and reporting' for a particular individual, group or vessel. Details of how to register can be found on our website homepage www.northern.police.uk under Counter Terrorism.

If you suspect it, report it. Call 01463 723 321 and quote Project Kraken or email ports@northern.pnn.police.uk

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme