Posted: 14.07.21 at 07:19 by Derek Davis
Marine Police now have a jetski to tackle anti-social behaviour on the waters off the Shotley peninsula coastline.
The fast and agile jetski - correctly called a personal water craft (PWC) is thought to be the only such piece of equipment currently available to any police force in the country.
The Marine Unit, which is now made up of six police officers, two Special Constables and a specialist Marine Technician, police 562 miles of coastlines and waterways from the River Stour to the Thames at Crayford Ness.
The PWC was launched from Shotley marina's sister Burnham Yacht Harbour on Monday morning (12 July), senior police and council officers joined local dignitaries to watch the PWC take to the water. Some of the group then went onto the water in police boat Alert IV from the marina to watch the new equipment in action.
Sergeant Alex Southgate, of the Marine Unit, said that the craft will be able to reach people and places that other boats can't - and break down barriers in engaging with water users and the community.
He added: "Behaviour on the water is usually very good, but during the pandemic the numbers of people using private boats, PWCs, paddle boards - and the water in general - have grown and there have been some issues with noise and protecting wildlife.
"The craft means we can access different kinds of waterways, including canals and some more difficult places to reach, more easily and when we need to more quickly, too.
"There is the matter of safety, too, with more people using paddle boards and dinghies and the craft will be valuable in many different kinds of situations."
The PWC can reach speeds of up to 92 miles per hour, but Sgt Southgate said that would not be a level of speed the marine police would need to use.
In the video and pictures here, PC Paul Rawson, can be seen expertly riding and handling the new water craft.
If you witness or experience any antisocial behaviour on the Stour report it to police through the digital 101 service on the or the online reporting tool on the police website.
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