Tees and Hartlepool Harbour Police is a small, specialised police force responsible for policing Teesport, which is the UK's third largest port and is owned by PD Ports, situated along the south bank of the River Tees in north east England. The Harbour police force is over 100 years old and was originally formed under the Harbour, Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847.
Although the force was originally formed under the Harbour, Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847, the current authority derives from Tees and Hartlepool Port Authority Act 1966, with constables' jurisdictions extending to two miles beyond the harbour. Under the Act, the Harbour Police have ‘all the powers and privileges, and shall be entitled to the indemnities and protection, of a constable within the harbour and in any place not more than 2 miles beyond the limits of the harbour’.
Any serious or major crime or incidents become the responsibility of the local Home Office police force, Cleveland Police.
The primary function of the Harbour Police is the detection and reduction of crime. This is achieved through a combination of high visibility patrols, good local knowledge and good intelligence. The use of closed-circuit television (CCTV) and the use of highly visible personnel promote the prevention of crime by removing criminal opportunities and increasing the risk of criminals being caught.
The Harbour Police use CCTV, high-visibility patrols, good knowledge of the area, and information from port users and visitors to achieve their mission of detecting and reducing crime within the Tees and Hartlepool port area (and the immediate surrounding area). Detailed knowledge of the workings of the port means Harbour Police can control an incident or event with little or no impact on the day-to-day running of the port.
Harbour Police exercise all the functions which may be expected of any constable within the jurisdiction and may be involved in many types of crime, assistance to the public, marine incident, traffic violation or assistance to other law enforcement agencies. However the Harbour Police collaborate with other police and law enforcement agencies such as Cleveland police.
The Harbour Police collaborate and work with severally other agencies, such as: Cleveland Police (including Special Branch), Other Home Office Police Forces, British Transport Police, Civil Nuclear Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services, Ambulance service, Transport Security and Civil Contingencies Directorate (TRANSEC), Border Force (Home Office), other ports Police, Ministry of Defence Police (MOD Police), Cleveland Emergency Planning Unit, Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), Home Office, Department for Transport, Security Service, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, Tenants Groups, Port Users Association, Local Business Groups.
Though Harbour Police have the right to exercise full constable powers, there are good arrangements in place with other forces for mutual assistance and collaboration, such as pooling equipment or cooperating in operations and exercises.
As Harbour Police do not, in general, have the specialist training or resources to lead on serious crime or a major incident, these would be referred to the Home Office police but the Harbour Police would provide support. In addition all persons arrested by the Harbour Police will be processed at a Clevland police station.
On successful entry into the Harbour Police, new officers undergo an extensive training course to make sure they are well prepared to be a constable of the Harbour Police. At first there is a local induction into the daily operations of a large modern port. During this induction period the new officers spend time visiting external agencies with whom they will actively engage following completion of their residential training.
The next stage of police training is a ten-week residential course at our specialist training department and with Teesside University. The next stage of police training is a ten-week residential course at our specialist training department and with Teesside University.
The Harbour Police officers undergo further training:in first aid,
police training such as use of handcuffs and restraints,
use of a police baton,
attend a response driving course with a local county force
and also qualify as a Port Facilities Security Officer.
and other typical aspects of police training.
They will also be expected to keep up with legislation and terrorist threat levels by attending other courses provided to meet these requirements. As well as all aspects of general police duties, the Harbour Police constable will be involved in many other port and shipping related tasks, including the berthing of vessels and checking various safety and other regulations necessary for the operation of the port. Officers will be expected to visit ships that use the port to issue General Directions and Byelaws and to check for any dangerous cargo, explosives or firearms carried. They understand the requirements of maritime legislation and they have a very busy and important role to play enforcing the requirements of the International Ships and Ports Facility Security Code. As such, officers are trained and tested on these crucial aspects of the Harbour Police's role.
Like any other police organisation, the Harbour Police have a management and rank structure. The service is headed by a Chief Inspector/Chief Officer. Currently the senior officers are as follows:Chief Officer: Chief Inspector Denis Murphy
HPS Training and development officer: Mark Hardy
HPS Sergeant: Sergeant Jim Bone
The most junior rank is Constable, then Sergeant. The senior positions are Inspector and Chief Inspector (as the Chief Officer).
The Harbour Police maintains a fleet of police vehicles, to assist in its duties to police the port and nearby land. Currently the land fleet consists of, but not limited too:Two Skoda Octavia patrol/response cars, with 2011 registered number plates
Two Vauxhall Vivaro vans, registered in 2007 and 2011
Vehicles that are no longer used by the Harbour Police:Two 2007 Skoda Octavia patrol cars, now obsolete
2005 Ford Ranger patrol vehicle, now obsolete
2005 Ford Transit, now obsolete
2005 Ford Mondeo, now obsolete
As well as various older patrol cars and vans from the 1990 era.
The sea-based fleet:A Harbour police launch "Tees Harbour Launch"
The Harbour police uses typical police equipment. Every officer is issued with a baton, Pava/CS spray, handcuffs and leg restraints, torch and whistle. In addition, to that they wear a white shirt and black tie, or the newer black Polo tops, as well as a Police fleece, high visibility jackets and black peaked, or bowler, cap with cap badge.