My fictional detective, DI Andy Horton, is based in the Solent area and my Horton marine mystery crime novels
include members of a fictional Hampshire Police Marine Unit - Sergeant Dai Elkins and PC Ripley - but I will be introducing the real police officers of the Hampshire Constabulary Marine Unit at the Crime Writers' Association (CWA) Conference
in Southampton on Saturday 21 April.
The Hampshire Police Marine Unit's area of responsibility stretches from Dorset to Sussex and out to 12 miles offshore.
The Solent is the busiest waterway in Europe and one of the busiest in the world with around one million commercial and Naval shipping movements per year and in excess of 10 million pleasure craft movements per year.
Members of the Marine Unit will talk about how they provide a specialist resource to the constabulary, as well as a service to the boating community and the Hampshire public as a whole.
Their role includes counter terrorism patrols, the reduction and detection of marine crime, investigation of marine incidents and fatalities, policing large events, supporting the UK Border Agency, Coastguard, and Harbour Authorities and responsibility for countering serious and organised crime and preventing child abduction. The unit consists of one Sergeant and nine PCs, policing with three semi displacement launches.
I'm very much looking forward to their talk and hope to report back on it here after the conference.