Delivering Safety and Security for Our Customers
Security at the Port of Dover is present 27/4, 365 days a year, utilising a wide range of security features, some of which are highly visible and some that are not. The security teams at the Port work closely with the Police and Security Services to ensure an open, safe and secure environment for all who work, visit and travel through it.
“Our vision to keep our customers safe and secure by delivering an agile and forward thinking specialist policing service for the Port of Dover and to be recognised by our stakeholders and port customers as leaders in the field of modern Port policing.”
Port of Dover Police complies with all national legislation and guidance that is applicable to all police forces. Port of Dover Police officers have the same powers, protections and privileges as all other constables throughout the United Kingdom. Officers are appointed by two Justices of the Peace to “be constables within the limits the harbour, dock, pier and premises of the undertakers (Dover Harbour Board) and within one mile of the same.”
Our mission is to safeguard and serve the Port community by preventing crime and disorder and dealing effectively with any incidents and disruption adding value to the customer experience at the Port of Dover.
Our vision is to keep our customers safe and secure by delivering an agile and forward thinking specialist policing service for the Port of Dover and to be recognised by our stakeholders and port customers as leaders in the field of modern Port policing.
We will act with honesty and integrity at all times.
We will take a sensible and practical approach to solving problems, balancing our legal responsibilities with the continuation of Port business.
We will promote confidence in DHB and the Port of Dover Police, by providing a reliable and consistent service.
We will always strive to achieve the best results for our department, the Port of Dover, the stakeholder community and the public.
We will provide a first class service at all times, representing DHB in the best possible light.
We are proud to be part of the DHB team serving the community and travelling public.
‘Reassurance policing’ provides the proactive element of our patrol regime, setting the standard of service which promotes confidence in the security of the Port and ensuring at all times the ’style’ of policing is appropriate to the identified risks and the current security level, and is sensitive to Port business, particularly our customers. Reassurance policing also tackles local priorities in partnership with the community, reducing the incidence of crime and anti-social behaviour.
Incident response is the reactive element of the patrol regime and demands swift, timely and decisive action. Responding to emergencies to protect life and property, securing evidence and stabilising a confused and potentially dangerous situation.
Intervening quickly when traffic congestion occurs, in order to ensure traffic flow in and around the port and along the main arterial roads runs smoothly, minimising disruption to business and the local community.
Safety is the top priority for Dover Harbour Board. Port of Dover Police are committed to delivering a ‘safety first’ culture.
(Supporting both the International Ship and Port Facility Security regime and the Home Office CONTEST strategy) For ISPS, working with security colleagues on Port Security Plan activities and for CONTEST ,specifically, the key objectives of the ‘PROTECT’ element (strengthen our protection against terrorist attack) and the ‘PREPARE’ element (mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack), all of which combine to ensure that the Port of Dover, a critical part of the UK national infrastructure, is protected from harm. The implementation of PROJECT SERVATOR at the Port of Dover underpins these key elements.
A reassuring and highly visible presence is maintained by the Port of Dover Police, funded entirely by the Port of Dover. Their duties encompass:
- The provision of the latest threat information and countermeasures, via our nationally accredited CTSAs (Counter Terrorism Security Advisors).
- Regular intervention with traffic control outside the Port in order to minimise the impact of Port traffic on the local community and ensure that the Port is not starved of traffic due to congestion on the approach roads.
- Provide the highest standards of road safety via a policy of engineering out problems, education of road users and finally enforcement.
- Take the lead in the management of (land based) emergencies.
- Intelligence led policing.
- Marine policing capability, extending the safe and secure environment to the waterborne areas of the Port.
Who funds the Port of Dover Police (PoDP)?
The Port of Dover Police is owned, operated and funded by the Port Authority, Dover Harbour Board. The Port of Dover Police do not receive any public funding.
What Police area does PoDP cover?
As a non-Home Office Police force, the PoDP do not have a ‘police area’. Kent Police have responsibility for policing the whole of Kent, including the Port of Dover. However, the Dover Harbour Board choose to fund their own police force to cover the Port area only. There may be occasions when Kent Police would seek our assistance in dealing with local issues, but the jurisdiction of PoDP restricts the area in which their Constables can operate (1 mile from the property of Dover Harbour Board, which is extended in certain circumstances to cover Port related incidents).
To what extent are Dover Harbour Board required to respond to Freedom of Information requests?
Only where the application for information refers to the ‘functions of a Constable’.
PoDP Officers are nominated and appointed as ‘special constables’ under section 79 of the Harbours, Docks and Piers clauses Act of 1847 which was subsequently modified by Part IV of the Dover Harbour Revision Order 2006 (S.I. 2167) and section 7 of the Marine Navigation Act 2013.
Schedule 1, Part V, Section 64 of the Freedom of Information Act which applies to:-
Any person who-
(a) By virtue of any enactment has the function of nominating individuals who may be appointed as special constables by Justices of the Peace, and,
(b) Is not a public authority by virtue of any other provision of the Act, in respect of information relating to the exercise by any person appointed on his nomination of the functions of a special constable.
This section has the effect of applying the responsibility under the Freedom of Information Act to the Dover Harbour Board (The Port Authority who nominate and subsequently fund the PoDP), but the said responsibility is only to disclose information, if available, that relates to the functions of a constable, the obligation is no wider than that. In addition, the Dover Harbour Board is not a public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act and as such is not bound by the general requirements of the Act.
What properties can be found within the Port of Dover area?
Mainly commercial properties, office space, warehousing and assembly parks. There are a very small number of privately rented properties. There aren’t any schools, places of worship, care homes, supermarkets, sporting arena’s, public houses or nightclubs.
Do Road Traffic laws apply at the Port of Dover?
Yes. Whilst the ‘Dock Roads’ are not roads that are maintained at public expense, the Road Traffic Act does apply.
What custody facilities do PoDP operate?
The PoDP do not operate custody facilities. Any prisoners would be taken to the nearest available designated police station within Kent.
Are PoDP subject to Police Regulations?
As a non-Home Office Police Force, PoDP Officers are not maintained under Police Regulations. Instead we are managed under Dover Harbour Board personnel policies and procedures.
Which Government Department oversees Port Policing?
The Department for Transport has oversight of Port Police forces
Who is in charge of PoDP?
The senior officer is Chief Inspector Richard Smeed. Strategic direction is given to the department by Dover Harbour Board Senior Management Team.
How many officers work for PoDP?
As of April 2021, there are 41 members of staff, made up of:
1 x Police Chief Inspector
6 x Police Sergeants (including 1 Sergeant with full-time oversight of port security)
33 x Police Constables
1 x Police Administrator
Do PoDP conduct stop searches under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act?
PoDP officers do use powers to stop and search under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) however, most searches are conducted using powers contained in the Port Security Regulations 2009.
Are PoDP responsible for dealing with Border Security issues like
Are PoDP responsible for dealing with Border Security issues like illegal immigration and smuggling?
No, these issues are dealt with by UK Visas and Immigration, Border Force and the National Crime Agency. Any terrorism related issues are dealt with by Kent Police Special Branch.
Who handles prosecutions on behalf of PoDP?
The Crown Prosecution Service is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases that have been investigated by the Police or other investigative organisations in England and Wales.
Would PoDP investigate serious offences, like murder, manslaughter, rape, serious sexual offences etc.?
PoDP and Kent Police have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in place with regards to Policing the Port of Dover. This MoU states that Kent Police would have responsibility for investigating any serious crime. Serious crime may include acts of terrorism, murder, rape or any of the offences listed in Schedule 1 of the Serious Crime Act 2007. This extends to crimes or incidents requiring a response that is beyond the resources or expertise beyond the capability or capacity of Port of Dover Police to investigate.
Do PoDP Officers carry incapacitant spray?
Yes, all officers carry PAVA incapacitant spray. The authority for carrying PAVA is given by a specific certificate issued under section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968 by the Home Office.
What specialist units or departments do the PoDP have?
As a small force, PoDP do not have any specialist units or departments. Instead, where assistance of a specialist nature was required, we would defer to Kent Police (for instance police dogs, specialist firearms, serious collision investigation etc.)
Do PoDP own any assets?
No, all assets are owned by Dover Harbour Board.
Who manages procurement on behalf of PoDP?
Procurement is managed by Dover Harbour Board. Dover Harbour Board are not compelled under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act to disclose any information unless it relates to the ‘functions of a Constable’.
Where should I send a Freedom of Information request to?
Freedom of Information applications should be sent to: FOI.email@example.com, or alternatively by post to:
Freedom of Information
Port of Dover Police
4th Floor Terminal Control Building
What happens if I am dissatisfied with the way that my Freedom of Information request has been handled?
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your FOI request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original request.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House