Put the Essex Police Marine Unit on your radar
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See how the Essex Police Marine Unit has evolved technologically since its launch in 1949.
Here at Essex Police, we are constantly thinking of new and innovative ways to help people, keep them safe and to catch criminals.
We have seen many changes over the decades with some really fantastic capabilities but one thing has remained strong over our 180 year history – our commitment to protecting and serving all communities.
As part of Essex 2020's celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM), we will be showcasing the abilities of our many teams.
Today's video features our Marine Unit, which is based in Burnham-on-Crouch.
The team consists of six police officers, two special constables and a number of operational vessels, including our 42ft launch Alert IV and Sentinel, a 24ft rigid inflatable boat or RIB. Alert IV is 25 years old and is our longest-serving police vehicle. All our vessels fly a Blue Ensign (flag).
Our officers cover 365 miles of coastline, one of the longest in the UK, and carry out high-visibility patrols along its entire length. They are all licensed search officers and assist our Police Search Advisor, or PolSA, with inland and coastal water searches when required.
Did you know … the unit launched in 1949 with the purchase of its first vessel, Vigilant, a wooden launch with a cabin and a radio. In those days, the team only patrolled the River Thames.
Today, officers use high-speed RIBs, capable of 50 knots, and small, inflatable dinghies. And they no longer rely solely on paper charts for navigation – they now have marine chart plotters, radar capability and night vision equipment.
In good conditions, the team can reach any part of the Essex coastline in an hour.
Essex 2020 is a year-long, countywide celebration that highlights the county’s enterprising past while inspiring a future for science and creativity in Essex.
Find out more about what Essex 2020 is about.
We are recruiting police officers, special constables and detectives at Essex Police. Visit our recruitment section if you want to learn new skills and be part of our team.