Port Security Regulations 2009


This is an important piece of legislation for stakeholders by which I mean operators of UK Port Facilities operating under the International Ship and Port (facility) Security Code. It creates another layer of security together with specific offences, including powers of arrest for security personnel (under certain circumstances).

Attached to this document is a copy of the Statutory Instrument however below is a brief précis of the main points of the Regulations.

The Regulations create a 'Designation Order' which is effectively identifying the boundary of the port and a new body will be formed called the 'Port Security Authority' for each 'Port'. This Authority will be a body corporate and will be made up mainly of the existing Port Facility Security Officers who will meet twice yearly.

The Authority will not have enforcement powers but are under a duty to notify the Secretary of State if they have reason to believe that a provision of the port security plan is not being implemented.

Once it is formed the 'Port Security Authority' will appoint a 'Port Security Officer' (PSO) for each Port Security Authority.

Three months after the formation of the 'Port Security Authority' they will submit a request to the Secretary of State for approval of the method they intend to adopt to conduct the 'Port Security Assessment' of the port using MATRA (Multi Agency Threat and Risk Assessment).

Following approval of the methodology the 'Port Security Authority' will then have 12 months to prepare and gain approval of their 'Port Security Plan'.

The process is very similar to your own facilities with the 'Port Facility Security Assessment' followed by the process of submitting your ?Port Facility Security Plan? to DfT Transport Security for approval.

The Regulations will create compliance offences for failure to meet the terms of an 'Enforcement Notice' that is issued by DfT Transport Security Inspectors.

The Regulations also propose the criminalisation of obstructing or impersonating a Transport Security Inspector.

New offences of carrying prohibited items into a 'Restricted Area' or 'Controlled Building' are also proposed by the Regulations together with making false statements regarding baggage, cargo or identification documents.

There is also a new offence of interfering with security measures, for example a person tampering with the CCTV systems.

Probably of most interest to you however will be Regulation 25 that establishes a power to search. At present it is searching by consent of persons wishing to enter the port facilities, however the new regulation creates the power to exclude the person refusing to be searched from the property and in addition where the ?Relevant Person? has reasonable cause to suspect that a ?Prohibited Article? is or may be, brought into a 'Restricted Area' the 'Relevant Person' may detain that person as long as is necessary to complete the search and to use force, if necessary to enter any building or land in the restricted area to effect the search.

The regulation goes on to give power to confiscate the 'Prohibited Article' and detain the person in whose possession the 'Prohibited Article' is found until the police arrive. This will be using the amended arrest powers under Police And Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Sections 24 and 24a as amended by section 110 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.

Relevant person includes Police, Boarder and Immigration Agency and the regulated party who is a member of the Port Security Authority or anybody working on their behalf.

This would extend the power to port security staff either directly employed ('in house' security) or contract security. You need to consider how you will update your security staff when these Regulations are adopted in your Port.

The proposed new power provides that the 'Relevant Person' who has reasonable cause to suspect that a 'Prohibited Article' is in, or may be brought into a 'Controlled Building' or 'Restricted Area' to search without warrant any part of the ?Controlled Building? or 'Restricted Area' or any property or vehicle or goods or person who is in any part of the 'Controlled Building' or ?Restricted Area?.

Although it is suggested that there will continue to be a regime of searching by consent new signage will be required identifying the new power under Regulation 25.

Also there is a recommendation that there will in future be a requirement to have a minimum of 4 people available to participate in searching activity, 2 male and 2 female!

PLEASE REMEMBER this law has now passed onto the statute books BUT it there MUST be a designation order for your port signed by the Secretary of State before the new legislation comes into effect in your port.


Powers of Arrest

S24a Police And Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (as amended by Section 110 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005) 

A Constable may arrest without warrant :  

  • Anyone who is about to commit an offence
  • Anyone who is in the act of committing an offence
  • Anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be about to commit an offence
  • Anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be committing an offence
  • If a constable has reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence has been committed , he may arrest without warrant anyone whom he has reasonable grounds to suspect of being guilty of it  

If an offence has been committed a constable may arrest without warrant:

  • Anyone who is guilty of the offence
  • Anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of it 

Grounds for exercising arrest powers
The powers of arrest are only exercisable if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary to arrest the person for any of the following reasons:

  • To enable the name of the person in question to be ascertained (in the case where the constable does not know, and cannot readily ascertain the persons name, or has reasonable grounds for doubting whether a name given by the person as his name is his real name)
  • Correspondingly as regards the persons address
  • To prevent the person in question:
    • Causing physical injury to himself or any other person
    • Suffering physical injury
    • Causing loss of or damage to property
    • Committing an offence against public decency (but this only applies where members of the public going about their normal business cannot reasonably be expected to avoid the person in question)
    • Causing an obstruction of the highway
    • To protect a child or other vulnerable person from the person in question
    • To allow the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or of the conduct of the person in question
    • To prevent any prosecution for the offence from being hindered by the disappearance of the person in question

These powers have effect in relation to any offence, whenever committed

Any Person

S24a Police And Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (as amended by Section 110 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005)

A Person other than a Constable may arrest without warrant :

  • Anyone who is in the act of committing an indictable offence
  • Anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be committing an indictable offence

Where an indictable offence has been committed , A Person other than a Constable may arrest without warrant:

  • Anyone who is guilty of the offence
  • Anyone whom he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be guilty of it  

The Grounds for exercising the powers of arrest:

These powers of ‘Civilian Arrest' can only be exercised if:

  • The person making the arrest has reasonable grounds for believing it is necessary to arrest the person in question for any of the following reasons:
    • Causing physical injury to himself or any other person
    • Suffering physical injury
    • Causing loss of or damage to property OR
    • Making off before a constable can assume responsibility for him

AND

  • It appears to the person making the arrest that it is not reasonably practicable for a constable to make it instead

These powers have effect in relation to any offence, whenever committed

Please Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely the authors.
This article is not for legal use and no responsibility can be taken the accuracy of any the information contained therein.

For more information please contact chris@teamwork-security.co.uk