Counter Terrorism Officers Visit Scilly

airport terminal frontCounter terrorism officers spent last week in Scilly encouraging islanders and transport operators to look out for any unusual behaviour.

DC Sarah White, leader of the four-strong team, says the islands could be considered a ‘soft’ entry point into the UK.

During their time here, a foreign national arriving on a yacht used the airport to get to the mainland. The team made enquiries and found his ID to be in order and his trip legitimate but they say it emphasises why staff need to be vigilant.

Sarah says she was pleased to see Skybus check-in staff asking for photographic ID, even though it’s not a 100% requirement on domestic flights.

It’s something that the Police encourage, she says, as a way for the airlines and airports to verify who’s travelling.

The four-day trip was part of their regular visits to airports and sea facilities around the region, which they try to do at least once a year.

And she says it was a good chance to discuss their two major operations with the islands’ Police and Harbour teams.

Project Pegasus is focussed on air travel and Project Kraken looks at security on sea routes.

The officers spent three days on the water with Harbourmaster Dale Clark and his staff, including dealing with a noisy yacht crew off Tresco and performing random inspections on boats.

Sarah says nothing untoward was found.

She praised the harbour team for their “great help” during the visit and says they’ve formed some good contacts between the two groups.

The number of times her team can visit each year is limited and they rely on information from local people. Sarah says it’s usually very obvious if someone doesn’t fit in to the normal yachting community. This can be anything from the clothes they’re wearing to their baggage.

Any suspicious activity can be reported to the islands’ Police Team or by calling 101. You can also pick up Project Kraken and Pegasus security leaflets from St Mary’s police station.