We’re hoping to hear the Home Office’s response to questions about security on the coast when we attend the next meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Maritime and Ports.
The influential parliamentary group wrote to the Government about the issue following our appearance at its December meeting at Westminster.
Together with our joint venture partners State 21, we outlined the main areas of concern during a presentation titled ‘How secure is our coastline?’
A centralised command and control structure, multi-agency operations and co-ordinated intelligence gathering were among the points of debate at the meeting.
Former First Sea Lord Admiral Lord West of Spithead, said that a centralised capability of command and control to improve inshore security was ‘exactly what was needed and something he has proposed in the past’.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group agreed to seek Government assurances about measures to bolster Great Britain’s inshore borders in the fight against such threats as people smugglers, organised crime, illegal fishing, terrorists and drugs gangs.
Now we will return to the Group’s meeting on January 30 and hope to hear the Government’s response.
The meeting will also include a presentation from Malcolm Brown, who is Director of the National Maritime Information Centre titled ‘Maritime Surveillance: what happens at the National Maritime Information Centre’.
His presentation is sure to be of interest, bearing in mind the implications for coastal and maritime security.
Terrorism and illegal immigration continue to remain high on the national agenda. Illegal fishing, people trafficking, drug smuggling and organised crime must also play a major role in any consideration of coastal and maritime security.
With multiple agencies involved, a firm focus is needed to ensure progress is made to make our 13,900km of coastal borders more secure.
This is particularly important when the maritime sector’s direct contribution to the economy is estimated at about £13.8billion, not to mention the growing threat from terrorism.
TMG and State 21 have the knowledge, experience and expertise to provide solutions for all of your maritime security needs, whether that is ashore, on board ship or in port.
Please contact us now to find out more about coastal security, the All-Party Parliamentary Group or discuss your requirements.