Hi-tech security on the River Thames

Hi-tech equipment on the River Thames is playing a key role in identifying the illicit importation of prohibited radiological material that could be used in a terrorist device.

Aug 26, 2010
By Paul Jacques
Chief Constable Andy Marsh

Hi-tech equipment on the River Thames is playing a key role in identifying the illicit importation of prohibited radiological material that could be used in a terrorist device.

Security Minister, Baroness Neville-Jones, on her first visit to the Port of Tilbury, was shown how freight vehicles on the river are scanned by passing through large yellow ‘Cyclamen’ gates to check for the presence of nuclear and radiological materials before being allowed to enter the country.

Baroness Neville-Jones said: “I was pleased to see first-hand how the UK Border Agency (UKBA), police and Port of London Authority are working together to increase our capacity to combat terrorism.

“We need to be able to intercept anything hostile or criminal approaching our shores, whether goods or people, and Cyclamen is a key part of that work. The development of first-class border security is crucial to the safety of the public and our critical national infrastructure.”

As well as fixed equipment at key points of entry to the UK, like Tilbury, the Cyclamen programme also incorporates mobile units which can respond to specific risks at any location. Handheld devices are also used for further searches once a detection has been made.

The equipment is designed to detect illicit radioactive material, but it also detects legitimate movements of radiation-emitting materials, such as medical isotopes and naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMS) like ceramics, cement and fertiliser.

Related News

Copyright © 2022 Police Professional