The action of the UKBA strikes at the Hart of Freedom of the individual and that was a core attitude of the previous Government – this nation wants its freedom back – freedom from CCTV – freedom from Bureaucracy but most of all the freedom of the high seas and travel. If not you will see us in Trafalgar Square with our tractors just like the French.
UK yachtsmen and boaters in general are being boarded at sea by officers of the UK Borders Agency that are intimidating and going towards terrifying.
These boarding’s are unannounced and usually without any or much legitimate suspicion that the target is up to no good.
The boarding can be at night, conducted by a team of officers coming alongside your vessel at high speed, then ‘storming ‘over the side, without permission or introduction and going below to start immediate drug swabbing and rummaging activity – apparently the boarding party is split so that some stay up top with the skipper, in case there are booby traps on board!
The officers are in a black powerful inflatable boat – dressed in black overalls, like riot police, have black crash helmets and largely have little ‘people skills’
This is all out of James Bond for most boaters but I am certain that it infringes the right, under the Human Rights Act, of quiet enjoyment of life not to mention the rights in the Magna Carta to roam the seas unhindered.
This process must be stopped in its tracks as the UKBA will not only destroy all the good will that UK boaters have built up with the Marine Police and ‘Customs’ in the past it will also, I think, result in challenges on the UKBA as to the legality of the actions they are taking.
I would direct you to the RYA web site:-http://www.rya.org.uk/interests/cruising/current-issues/Pages/stopandsearch.aspx
graphic detail of some of the UKBA activity is detailed.
This has all been promulgated under the guise of anti terrorism legislation – which in itself should be looked at as a whole.
This issue has been raised at the EU and a definitive answer as to the legality of the actions of the UKBA is awaited.
Please get behind this change before we are being dragged out of our cars at traffic lights on “suspicion of breathing” at which point Civil Liberty will be a sweet memory.