UK Ports Step-Up Security Co-Operation with New Alerting System
The British Ports Association has launched a new security alerts system for rapid information sharing amongst industry to help prevent and detect criminal activity.
The new system will involve BPA disseminating details of activity submitted by ports to others in the same region. This will improve security posture and raise awareness of suspicious individuals or patterns of behaviour.
The industry’s Security & Resilience working group proposed the idea earlier in 2023 and a simple system has been trialled and is now live.
Any UK port can sign up to receive alerts although recipients are checked regularly by BPA to ensure they have a legitimate need to receive such data. The BPA also checks data before it is circulated to ensure it is appropriate and distributed to the relevant port security professionals.
The system complements the existing reporting regime, whereby ports report incidents to government. The BPA works closely with the Department for Transport’s security division and other Government security teams.
Security Alert Example: Suspicious Vehicle
A vehicle using several sets of vehicle registration numbers was identified as potentially being linked to a number of thefts of product, plant and machinery around a major port. In a trial the port circulated photos of the vehicle and some distinctive markings to other port security professionals in the region. Other ports have been asked to share any sightings of the vehicle and be aware that it may be operating nearby.
Andy Billings, Group Head of Security at ABP and Chair of the industry’s Security & Resilience Group, said:
“I’m delighted that the industry is taking a pro-active approach to improving security at our ports.This is a new dynamic approach to collaboration within the industry where ports can share information to help protect each other across the sector.
UK ports share a common aim in deterring and preventing criminal activity, whether that is cargo theft or smuggling. As a sector we already work closely with law enforcement and government agencies and this initiative, proposed and led by industry, is a step forward.
We will continue to explore ways of working more closely together and more pro-actively on our shared ambition of securing UK ports.”
Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive at British Ports Association and Chair of the UK Government’s National Maritime Security Committee (Industry), said:
“We’re pleased that the BPA is able to support ports across the UK in quickly sharing information that can help to prevent and detect criminal activity. We are grateful to members for their openness and willingness to collaborate in pursuit of common security aims.
The success of the system depends on ports making use of it and I encourage all ports to participate, both in signing up to receive alerts and circulating information when appropriate.
The BPA will continue to explore policies and initiatives for tackling challenges and improving security at our maritime gateways.”
UK ports can submit an alert on the BPA website or by contacting a member of the team.
Source: British Ports Association