Project Kraken-Hamble River scheme is proving a great success in tackling crime on the River Hamble since it was launched in February this year.
The scheme was launched by the Hamble Safer Neighbourhood Team working with Eastleigh Community Safety Partnership. One of the key aims is to raise awareness as well as promote best practice and crime prevention on the River Hamble as crime is often under reported in the marine community.
Project Kraken is a national scheme that delivers enhanced level of vigilance against crime within the Solent maritime environment including the harbours and estuaries of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Key organisations such as harbourmasters, coastguard and marina managers, together with people who live or work in, or adjacent to, the marine environment, or who spend their leisure time on or near our waters, are encouraged to report any suspicious activity.
The Police and Community Safety Partnership wanted a local angle to this national initiative by establishing a 'river watch' type scheme with professionals in the marine environment. The principles were based upon those of Neighbourhood Watch aimed at preventing and detecting crime, enhancing communication and promoting best practice. Police Sergeant George White said
"Setting up and maintaining this scheme has allowed us to work closely with partner agencies and enhance the service that we can provide to users of the River Hamble. We take a robust approach to criminals who target vessels and marine equipment. Sharing information and best practice with experts in the field and those with a common interest has enabled us to carry out a number of proactive operations over the summer, the most recent resulting in a male being charged with two thefts and two stolen boats being recovered."
Cabinet Member for Health Councillor Cathie Fraser said "I am delighted that this initiative is proving so successful. The marine community is an important part of our borough and the Community Safety Partnership is working hard to support our maritime community to crack down on crime."
She added "Project Kraken-Hamble River has now been enhanced further by the introduction of 'www.crimereports.co.uk'. We have established a marine community for the River Hamble whereby the Police or other members of the community can publish alerts that can be seen by all of the group."
Commenting on this project the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police & Crime Commissioner Candidate David Goodall said:-
"Projects like Operation Kraken are essential to tackle marine based crime across Hampshire & Isle of Wight area. The success of the scheme in Hamble illustrates this very well. And as someone who grew up in a big yachting centre of Cowes a naturally support this scheme."
If anyone has any information about those responsible for criminal activity on the Hamble - such as theft or damage - they should contact the police by telephoning 101. If you witness an activity actually taking place then you should still call 999.
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