The police unit that's tasked with patrolling the longest coastline in the country says the threat it is facing from terrorism, people smuggling and drugs importation is increasing.
- Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Hannah Pettifer
Essex Police Marine unit like many departments within the police has undergone budget cuts, but they say suspicious activity on the waters, once rare, is now becoming commonplace.
The police unit patrols 400 miles along the Essex coastline. However only four years ago plans were announced to get rid of the unit altogether to save money.
Instead the number of boats were reduced drastically and the team brought down to just three full time officers. Neither Norfolk Police nor Suffolk Police have a marine unit.
It comes as President of the Police Superintendents Association of England and Wales recently described policing as facing a 'perfect storm', following budget cuts and rising crime.