A new counter-terrorism campaign has been launched by police in Plymouth to urge the public to look out for suspicious activity around the naval base.
Ministry of Defence Police and Devon and Cornwall Police have joined forces for Operation Tiffish to raise community awareness about potential ‘criminal reconnaissance’ along the waterfront.
The operation was launched on Sunday and will see a number of activities taking place over the next few weeks.
Officers will visit every waterside address and commercial property on the east and west side of the Tamar river which is close to the HM naval base Residents and users of the Port of Plymouth, for both pleasure and commercial activities, are being spoken to, to raise awareness of types of suspicious activity in and around the naval base and how to report it.
As well as knocking on doors and handing out leaflets, officers will be stopping pleasure and commercial craft and speaking to boat users.
Officers are also keen to raise awareness of the Boat Watch crime prevention scheme and the MoD Police-led boat registration scheme.
Devon and Cornwall Police will be deploying Special Constables and they have received specific training in relation to Operation Tiffish.
Sergeant Ryan Canning, Devonport response unit, said: “The operation is not in response to any specific threat. It is to raise awareness of the presence of the MoD Police, their assets and role in Plymouth as well as other key locations.
“We are keen to speak to as many people as possible who use the Port of Plymouth to ensure they know what to activities look out for and how to report them.
“By working in partnership with MoD Police we will be able to engage with more people. The Special Constables involved have been very hard working and have done a really good job in assisting with the operation so far.”
Inspector Gordon Peters, of the MoD Police at Devonport, stressed there had been no change in the perceived terrorist threat at the naval base and the operation recognised the tremendous advantages of engaging the eyes and ears of the local community.
He said: “This operation follows a successful Police Marine Unit initiative which has been taking place since last spring.
“With the help and co-operation of the owners and skippers of Plymouth Boat Trips, the boats carrying sightseers and holiday makers touring the waterfront of the naval base are boarded by officers who explain their security role and encourage public vigilance. This work has been very well received by the public.”