Boatwatch is the practical way that members of KEBC support the club and other members of the boating community by providing a conspicuous presence and there by a deterrent to marine crime at the top end of the Estuary. Boatwatch also provides advice and assistance with general boating matters and security issues as well as providing traceable Security Marking for boats and equipment.
Boatwatch has developed from the efforts of members concerned by the level of marine crime affecting the estuary. It began in 2006 with a number of the founding members of KEBC mounting patrols at random times noting any activity that concerned them. The result was a dramatic downturn in the level of marine crime and the restoration of confidence for all boat owners.
Boatwatch today maintains a watch over the water all year round. Some 60/70 members are arranged in 15 groups and each group takes responsibility for one or two weeks per year. Each group has a Coordinator who supports their groupand ensures their allocated weeks are covered, though the commitment of individuals is never more than they feel they can offer. Most members manage 3/4 visits to the water per week which can be during the morning, afternoon, early evening or late evening. Visits can last as long as members are able to commit and can be on foot or by boat, be with friends or pets and include refreshments or and ice cream! Above all else visits should be fun and enjoyable. Each group decides exactly how and when they will visit the estuary. The only safety requirement is that members are asked to wear the high visibility vests supplied and work in pairs as a minimum.
This current model has evolved over time and after extensive consultation with the local Police. We are justly proud of the reputation KEBC Boatwatch has earned and is the reason that in February 2015 we were chosen to meet Tony Hogg, Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner to describe our work and how we support law and order in the local community. He was very impressed and has maintained his link with us.
The major aim of our activities is to encourage those with ill intent to have second thoughts and go elsewhere! If someone on Boatwatch observes activities causing concern, the group can either choose to deal with it themselves or pass the information to the Boatwatch Organiser. In this way we hope that members do not feel they might need to get more involved than they wish.
To be successful Boatwatch depends on the membership of KEBC being willing to participate. The commitment is not onerous other than agreeing two weeks per year when you have the time to visit the Estuary between Kingsbridge and Frogmore. For most members that means no more than a maximum 10/12 hours per year. The rewards are knowing that the Estuary is both a safer place to visit and to leave your boat.
If you are interested and would like to know more please do contact the current Boatwatch organiser, Richard Benton on firstname.lastname@example.org or any member of the committee. We will be delighted to hear from you.
Boatwatch Coordinator’s / Water-watchers.
It is important that those undertaking Boatwatch all follow a similar protocol when making contact with other organisations.
All of this information is in the public domain and available to any member of the public, especially Boatwatch. It should be simple!
- For a crime being committed — 999
- For a crime that has been committed previously — 101
- For passing on important information anonymously — Crimestoppers 0800 555 111
- For reporting boats and equipment in need of attention — Harbour Office on 01548 843791.
- KEBC Boatwatch is happy to act as a ‘go between’ to the Police or Harbour Office.
The Harbour Master is very keen to work with us and recognises the importance of the ‘local’ knowledge members have. We look forward to assisting him monitor the Kingsbridge end of the estuary.
Please remember - it is particularly helpful if a report of suspicious activity or an issue of concern includes the date, the time, a description of those involved plus registration numbers of any vehicle that might be linked. A short video via a mobile phone is particularly welcome.