Essex Police marks 70 years of marine policing
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Thursday 10 October saw our Marine Unit commemorate the 70th anniversary of our Marine Unit, with a celebration event at Burnham Yacht Harbour.
Today saw Essex Police commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Marine Unit, with a celebration event at Burnham Yacht Harbour this afternoon, Thursday 10 October.
Officers from the specialist unit were joined by Assistance Chief Constable Paul Wells, members of the marine community and retired marine officers to mark 70 years of maritime policing in Essex by the force.
Since 1949, Essex Police have been patrolling the coastline and waterways of the county preventing crime, catching criminals and protecting the people of Essex.
Assistant Chief Constable, Paul Wells attended the ceremony and presented the team with a 70th Anniversary commemorative plaque: "This is a fantastic achievement not only for the unit but the entire force too" said the Assistance Chief Constable.
"We are proud to be one of only seven police forces in the country to have this specialist unit and the team's continual work to prevent crime, protect the community and deter criminal activity is outstanding.
"We are also fortunate to have two Special Constables, who have undergone the specialist training required to be a marine officer and their work within the community is invaluable, something which the team were recently recognised for, receiving a Lord Ferrers Award, which highlights the vital role volunteers play in community policing.
"It takes a dedicated and self-motivated individual to become a marine officer, deploying both day and night, in all weathers to ensure the county is safe and criminals are brought to justice.
"On behalf of the force, I would like to thank every officer who has served on the Marine Unit over the last seven decades for their hard work and dedication to keeping Essex safe."
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner for Essex, congratulated the Marine Unit on its 70th anniversary.
He said: “With more than 350 miles of shore, Essex has the second longest coastline of any English county.
“That fact makes the work of our marine unit invaluable when it comes to keeping people safe as well as preventing and detecting criminal activity on our waterways.
“The work of the team cannot be underestimated. The people of Essex are lucky to have a team of such dedicated and specialist officers who work in sometimes difficult and dangerous circumstances to protect them.”
Today the unit police 562 miles of coastline and waterways from the Thames at Crayford Ness to the River Stour in Manningtree, working alongside partners such as the RNLI, UK Border Force, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Port of London Authority, who also commended the team on the occasion.
“We are very pleased to send our very best ‘70th birthday’ wishes to our friends at the Essex Police Marine Unit" said a Port of London Authority spokesperson.
“For seven decades we have been honoured to work side by side with them to keep the public safe on - and next to - the River Thames in Essex.
Coastal Operations Area Commander Rob Steventon of HM Coastguard added:
"We’re very pleased to congratulate the Essex Police Marine Unit on this 70th anniversary.
"We’re also proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues in Essex for search and rescue operations and in fact all our emergency services colleagues who come together and really do work as one team with one aim – to keep people safe.”
Gravesend Lifeboat station have worked closely with Essex Police Marine Unit since the RNLI started Search and Rescue on the River Thames in 2002. Station Manager, Jason Carroll said: "The Marine Unit Officers have been professional and dedicated in providing a first class service to the community of Essex.
"We are proud to play a part in keeping this community safe alongside them."
"Happy 70th anniversary from all at Gravesend Lifeboat Station and we look forward to continuing a first class search and rescue service with you all."