Kent Police marine unit moves to the coast

The Kent Police marine unit has moved to the coast after years of being based miles away from the water.

The unit has moved from Coldharbour near Maidstone to the Port of Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey.

Chief Constable Ian Learmonth said: "Sheerness Port is an ideal location, giving easy access to the Thames and Thames Estuary and the River Medway."

The marine unit joined forces with its counterpart in Essex Police two-and-a-half years ago.

The Kent unit has three boats, the largest of which is the Princess Alexandra III, which at 54ft (16.4m) is large enough to be used as a mobile police station that can be used as a command platform for marine operations.

The marine unit is responsible for the Kent coastline from the Dartford Creek flood barrier to the Sussex border near Rye.

Sgt Mark Wigston, who has been a member of the Kent Police marine unit for 11 years, said: "Coldharbour was around 15 miles from a suitable waterside launching location and the amount of time we spent travelling to and from the shore restricted our time on the water."

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