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POLICE: Counter-terrorism operation at aviation sites near Maidstone

Wednesday 10th July 2019

KENT Police staff visited airports, airstrips and helipads to raise awareness of the steps that can be taken to help prevent terrorism.

The initiative, which ran from Monday, July 1 in partnership with Border Force, targeted locations which could be vulnerable to human trafficking or the illegal importation of drugs or firearms.

Kent’s three main aviation hubs in Rochester, Lydd and Headcorn were visited, as were seven other smaller airfields across the county. A total of 13 aircraft were screened throughout the week but no concerns were identified.

Ports co-ordinator Nick Reed said: "Kent is the gateway to Europe and welcomes large numbers of visitors by land, sea and air on a daily basis. It is therefore important that the people who work at our ports can spot the signs of criminality and raise any concerns with us.

"Our presence at the airports was well received and it was beneficial to be able to share our knowledge with those who come into contact with aircraft pilots on a daily basis.

"While the vast majority of people who travel into Kent by air are law-abiding citizens, there are also a minority who will see an aeroplane or helicopter as a means by which they can commit crime. Criminality can support and fund terrorism, which is why operations such as this are so important and will be repeated again in the future."

Anyone with information about suspicious activity around airfields is encourage to report it at www.gov.uk/report-border-crime or by calling Kent Police on 101. For more information, please visit: www.gov.uk/border-security-pegasus.

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