As the channels for the world’s trade, our ports and ships are increasingly at risk from organised crime and terrorist attacks. The volume of cargo moving around could provide opportunities for those intent on upsetting world economies. Security has always been an important factor for ships and ports. However, since September 11, security measures have increased rapidly.
Legislation has been created to better ensure that ports and ships are out of reach of harmful criminals which in turn helps provide more safety for the vessel's crew and stevedores. On the shore, Port Police are responsible for patrolling and the surveillance of the port and for enforcing local, national and international port legislation, as well as environmental and maritime safety regulations. The overriding aim of the Port Police is to maintain a free flow of trade and ensure a safe, secure environment that promotes uninterrupted port operations.
The range of duties for port police can stretch from monitoring ship berthings and issuing hazardous cargo and dangerous-goods permits to inspecting ships to guard against drug smuggling and pollution.