The Ports of Tees and Hartlepool have been served since 1904 by a dedicated and professional Harbour Police force who are an independant, privately funded police force.
PD Teesport Limited, as the Statutory Harbour Authority (the ‘Authority), is empowered to maintain the Harbour Police under the Tees and Hartlepool Port Authority Act 1966 (the ‘THPAA’). Harbour Police officers are uniformed and warranted constables, appointed by justices of the peace, who have the same powers, privileges and protections as all other constables in the United Kingdom, within the area in which they operate. The THPAA restricts the area in which Harbour Police officers can operate essentially to two miles from the “high water line” at both ports, which is extended in certain circumstances to cover port related incidents.
Cleveland Police have responsibility for policing the whole of the Teesside area, including the Ports of Tees and Hartlepool, however, the Authority chooses to fund its own police force to cover the port area only. The Harbour Police work closely with Cleveland Police and have a Memorandum of Understanding in place that formalises arrangements for deployments, operations, training and administration.
The Harbour Police consists of a Chief Officer who, as of November 2022, leads a team of 22 officers to ensure a 24/7 presence across both ports and the wider port community. Utilising patrol vehicles, river patrol and drones, the Harbour Police work closely with partners including Border Force to support the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) regime and the UK Government Counter Terror Strategy CONTEST, specifically the key objectives associated with the PROTECT and PREPARE elements.
community policing plan
The Harbour Police are committed to serving and protecting the Authority’s infrastructure, people, tenants, stakeholders and visitors. To this end, the Harbour Police introduced the Community Policing Plan initiative which assigns one individual officer as a single point of contact for sites within the Harbour Police’s operational area allowing for direct, seamless communication between stakeholders and the Harbour Police. With 65 sites currently signed up to the programme, nominated officers are on hand to offer support and advice across various issues such as:
- Non-emergency enquiries
- Crime prevention advice
- Intelligence gathering
- Deal with any on-site issues
- Liaison with on-site security
As well as enabling greater visibility of the Harbour Police, the Community Policing plan allows business across Teesport to build trusted relationships and resilience within their organisations, safe in the knowledge that there are dedicated officers to offer support as needed.