Share

Mostly Cloudy

Fri

27°C | 16°C

Light showers

Sat

26°C | 15°C

Moderate showers

Sun

24°C | 13°C

Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Police boat Princess Alexandra III up for sale at auction after changes to force's marine unit

26 February 2014
by Emma Grove
Kent Police is selling off a boat which it spent £350,000 on eight years ago - under changes to its marine unit.
 
The 54ft Princess Alexandra III is a former RNLI vessel which can travel up to 27 knots (about 30mph). 
 
It was bought jointly between Kent Police Authority and the force in 2006.
 
The police launch, when it first came to Sheerness Docks

The police launch, when it first came to Sheerness Docks

 
They paid £150,000, and a refit to the boat cost a further £200,000.
 
A Kent Police spokesman said its marine unit has been under review and is to change to become the search and marine unit.
 
It's claimed it will broaden the scope of the unit and provide support in both land and water-based searches.
 
The unit was previously based at Coldharbour, near Maidstone, with the rest of the force’s tactical operations.
 
The police launch in action

The police launch in action

 
But in May 2011 it was moved to Sheerness Docks which was said to be an ‘ideal location’ and a long ambition for it to set up there.
 
As well as engaging in counter-terrorism work, checking the security of waterside commercial sites and tackling serious and organised crime around the waters of Kent, marine officers worked with the Island Neighbourhood Team to tackle Sheppey’s problems.
 
When it was launched on the Island, former Chief Constable Ian Learmouth raised a blue ensign flag to officially open the base at the Port of Sheerness.
 
The police boat docks at Sheerness

The police boat docks at Sheerness

 
Sgt Mark Wigston, who was involved in the launch, said at the time: “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.
 
“Now the Thames Estuary is bang on the doorstep it makes a huge difference, both to our response time and our time on the water.
 
“It’s now a couple of minutes’ walk to where the boats are moored. The move to Sheerness makes sense. We are where we should be – by the water.”
 
“It’s now a couple of minutes’ walk to where the boats are moored. The move to Sheerness makes sense. We are where we should be – by the water” - Sgt Mark Wigston in 2011
The boat, built in 2000, is up for sale through an online auction, which finishes on Friday, March 21.
 
In its listing on the website Apollo Duck, it says a deposit of £10,000 will be needed to bid and all logos will be removed before sale.
 
A Kent Police spokesman said: “The unit will continue to have access to the equipment necessary, including off-shore vessels, to investigate marine criminality.
 
“The force has taken the decision to sell The Princess Alexandra III as the cost of maintaining such a large vessel was not proportionate to the benefits it provided. 
 
“The force has other vessels that are cheaper to run and which provide sufficient off-shore capacity.”


Stories you might have missed 

Verdict: Treeby murderer took his own life before sentence 

Downsize Abbey: Historic house up for sale... complete with wealth of antiques

Boy, 14, launches campaign to save school after shock closure decision

Council chairman released without charge after child abuse images claim


 

Click here for more news from Sheerness.

Click here for more news from around the county.

Comments 

Forgotten Password?

Forgotten Username?

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments.
Please click here for our house rules.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.