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Border police visit the isles

Some of the team visiting Shetland - left to right: detective constable Gary Christie, detective constable Edward Rouse and detective sergeant Craig Dunbar. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

LOCAL people have been reminded by border police visiting the isles to report any suspicious activity at Shetland’s ports.


A team of four officers from Police Scotland’s border policing command in Aberdeen arrived in Lerwick on Tuesday morning to spend the next two days speaking with local police and visiting Shetland’s ports and airports.

Detective sergeant Craig Dunbar said the purpose of the visit is to “strengthen our ties and close working relationship with local policing and communities across north ports”.

“I believe it also demonstrates the ability of Police Scotland to support local policing with specialist resources irrespective of the geography,” he added.

The team will meet local police and visit ferry terminals, small ports, harbours and airports.

Dunbar encouraged anyone with concerns about any suspicious port-related activity to get in touch.

The police have a regular presence at the NorthLink ferry terminal in Lerwick particularly in relation to incoming drugs, but it is difficult to cover the rest of Shetland’s coastline.

“We’re aware that the islands are a very safe place to live, work and visit, but that doesn’t mean that anyone – the police or the public – should be complacent,” Dunbar said.

“We rely on information from the public, so we’re appealing for those who live or work in ports environments to report any suspicious activity to us.

“That’s where we link in with local policing. They’re all too aware of the day to day issues. We recognise the challenges there. Obviously the ferry from the mainland, the oil and gas industry as well, the fishing industry, the different uses for the ports.”

It’s the first time the team, which covers the north of Scotland, has been in Shetland.

Dunbar said the border policing command is “responsible for safeguarding entry points in Scotland and the UK, and for protecting the border”.

“In doing so we recognise we’ve got a vast area of coastline to cover, which obviously includes the Orkney and Shetland islands,” he added.

“We believe it’s important for us to be vigilant about who’s coming in and out of our ports to mitigate the threat from terrorism and organised crime.”