A NEW "boat watch" scheme will be launched by police in Upton to tackle crime on Worcestershire's waterways.

The scheme, created by Malvern Police, will go live as a pilot as part of the Upton Marina Open Day on Saturday, June 14.

Similar to Neighbourhood Watch, the initiative has been designed to deal with crime on our inland waterways.

Following a series of boat-related crimes in Worcestershire over the last few years and the nationwide trend for thefts of outboard motors from boats, Malvern Police are working with partner agencies and the commercial sector to reduce crime and increase safety for the boating community. Ting-Dene marinas Limited has invited the police along to their open day to help promote this new crime reduction idea.

Amongst the other stands and displays the police will be displaying security items and giving advice on boat safety and security matters.

Along with policing advice the officers will be handing out free membership packs for ‘Boat Watch’ and offering discounted ‘Smart Water’, security marking kits.

Part of ‘Boat Watch’ involves a crime reduction idea used elsewhere in the UK. This is the use of vinyl security hoods, to replace the plastic engine cowling on outboard motors. These simple hoods, marked with the police and ‘Boat Watch’ logos, clearly inform any potential thieves the plastic cowling has been removed making the re-sale value of the engine significantly lower. Used in conjunction with ‘Smart Water’ marking kits and suitable locks it substantially reduces the chances of the engine being stolen.

A limited number of these hoods in three sizes covering engines from 2 to 90 horsepower will be available on the day at a discounted price for the event.

The Upton Marina event will have fun stuff for all the family including; water rescue displays, live music, a zip wire for the kids and zorb pools and an inflatable slide.

The event will run from 1.30pm to 4.30pm. It is free and open to everyone and Malvern Hills District Council have provided free parking permits for Hanley Road car park for the event. Fir more information contact PC Paul Lambon at Malvern Police station or via his email; paul.lambon@westmercia.pnn.police.uk "