New marine policing capabilities

Strathclyde Police’s marine policing unit (MPU) is now better equipped to crack down on crime, anti-social behaviour and provide a waterborne response to incidents after taking delivery of two new rigid hulled inflatables (RIBs).

Aug 13, 2009
By Paul Jacques
Domestic Abuse Commissioner Nicole Jacobs

Strathclyde Police’s marine policing unit (MPU) is now better equipped to crack down on crime, anti-social behaviour and provide a waterborne response to incidents after taking delivery of two new rigid hulled inflatables (RIBs).
The first of these RIBs is a 5.3m single-engined Humber which can be easily transported throughout the force area. 
The other is a 7.5m twin-engined Delta sea-going RIB, which has increased range and endurance on previous vessels and is capable of speeds in excess of 50 knots. Berthed close to Greenock police office, the Delta RIB is more manoeuvrable and better suited to the diverse work undertaken by the department.
In addition to the crew, the vessel is able to transport up to six officers plus equipment, making it a vital police resource that can quickly deploy officers to some of the most isolated parts of the force area.
Sergeant Iain Oliphant, of Strathclyde Police’s MPU, said: “These two vessels have many advantages and bring the force’s marine policing capability right up to date and provide a more flexible, effective and efficient platform from which we operate.
“For example, the Delta RIB allows specially-trained officers to approach and board other vessels while on the move. In a similar way to police roadside or stop checks, MPU officers are now able to board, inspect and conduct checks on all types of vessels arriving or passing through the force area, often from foreign ports.
“Along with other smaller inflatable boats, we are now able to provide a response on any body of water within the force area, including up to 12 miles out to sea, and can operate on rivers or flooded areas when required.”
Since March 2009, following some additional essential training, the MPU has boarded 98 vessels to conduct security checks and carried out over 200 marina and port patrols. The officers and boats have also been involved in several operations, including targeting drugs smugglers, and provided policing support at major sporting and other events.
The MPU is moving to new premises at the Greenock fire station where, along with Strathclyde Fire and Rescue and Maritime Coastguard Agency which will also be stationed there, it will be able to provide a multi-agency approach to all maritime issues affecting the force area.

 

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