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Port security passes undercover test

PUBLISHED: 22:07 08 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:46 02 March 2010

FELIXSTOWE Port security was up to the challenge when put to the test in an undercover operation, the Evening Star can reveal today.

Terrorism fears in Suffolk are on high alert after two Ipswich men were arrested by Metropolitan Police experts on Saturday.

FELIXSTOWE Port security was up to the challenge when put to the test in an undercover operation, the Evening Star can reveal today.

Terrorism fears in Suffolk are on high alert after two Ipswich men were arrested by Metropolitan Police experts on Saturday.

And it was feared an unmanned gate in Carr Road was an open door to terrorists entering or leaving one of Europe's busiest container ports.

But when an undercover Evening Star reporter, posing as a port worker, tried to breach security he was picked up within 100 yards of the gate.

Officials at the port knew nothing of what the ploy but eagled-eyed officers in the Port's 24-hour police station spotted the reporter and photographer outside the Carr Road gate on CCTV cameras.

The reporter was monitored entering the port and two officers despatched to pick up The Evening Star men.

Paul Davey, the port's corporate affairs manager, was understandably delighted with the way security measures passed the test.

He said: "The port has a number of systems in place to increase its security. These include CCTV cameras and police patrols.

"We believe that the fact that we picked up The Evening Star reporter so quickly shows that our systems are working well.

"The port is a very busy place. There are thousands of people going into the port every day.

"It's impractical for us to stop everybody, but we are very vigilant to spot people that are acting in an unusual or suspicious manner."

Security arrangements across the UK were put under close scrutiny in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US.

And new regulations introduced in the wake of that investigation are now bearing fruit at Felixstowe Port.

Mr Davey is confident the millions of pounds being ploughed into security arrangements will help make the port an even safer place.

He said: "The security arrangements at the port are in the process of being tightened even further.

"We have already provided a significant number of additional security guards and we will be employing additional CCTV and fencing over the coming months.

"There is no place in the world where security is impregnable, but we are happy that our security is more than adequate for our operations."

N Anti-terrorist police have until Saturday afternoon to question the two Ipswich men.

A warrant for the further detention of the pair was granted by Bow Street Magistrates Court yesterday.

Metropolitan Police officers were today still refusing to reveal the identities of the men arrested in a swoop on an Ipswich address on Friday.

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk


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