AN INITIATIVE to deter the theft of outboard engines and boat equipment by using Selectamark has helped reduce marine crime in the Falmouth area by 36% in 6 months.
PC Charlie Staines and PCSO Paul Woodward of the rural neighbourhood police team at Falmouth police station have achieved great success with their scheme which also introduced a Boat Watch initiative to the area. There are now more than 5,000 members of the Boat Watch scheme, who have all been instructed to look out for any suspicious activity in the surrounding marinas and harbours.
Every year thefts of and from boats are reported to the police and these incidents cause inconvenience and considerable expense to boat owners.
In early 2009 the rural neighbourhood team commissioned a full investigation into the marine crime in their area with a view to establishing a crime reduction plan.
PC Charlie Staines said: “We knew that the figures for marine crime would not make good reading. The data we collated was very useful and it gave us ideas on how we could turn the tide on marine crime.”
The team set about identifying marine crime prevention devices and decided that the use of visible deterrent Selectamark to mark marine equipment would be most effective.
The Devon & Cornwall Constabulary also designed special outboard engine covers that were given to boat owners to highlight the existence of Boat Watch and the fact that all marine equipment was protected by Selectamark.
PC Charlie Staines said: “There is a very simple principle to crime reduction. The more difficult you make life for the criminal, the more likely he or she is to leave your property alone.
“The creation of our Boat Watch is a key to reducing marine thefts and all of the members will be encouraged to increase their security with simple to implement measures.”
He continued: “Throughout the country great reductions in marine incidents have been achieved when sailing communities and the police work together in the fight against criminals, by taking security measures, looking out for each other and reporting suspicious activity to the police or Harbour Masters.”