Police launch new anti terror campaign on the water

By Jenny Makin

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THE fight against terrorism in and around Hampshire will move on to the water today as police urge sailors to become their eyes and ears in the war against serious and organised crime.

In the first operation of its kind in the country, sailors, boat users and nautical companies around the Solent will be asked to join the vigilance campaign to keep the county safe.

The Solent Portal is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and a haven for thousands of pleasure boats each year.

With more than 210,000 commercial movements, 800,000 cruise line passengers and thousands more people passing through the waterway on board ferries and private boats each year, the area is virtually impossible to police.

Called Project Kraken, the idea is likened to a neighbourhood watch scheme on the water where people will report suspicious activity including strange boats or ships entering the waters off the coast of Hampshire.

The enhanced counter terrorist capability will be officially launched today in conjunction with Southampton's biggest maritime event of the year, the Southampton Boatshow.

If successful Project Kraken could be rolled out at major ports around the UK.