Reporters collared in security test

Two journalists from the Evening Star in Ipswich nearly ended up in the dock when they were sent to test security at the Port of Felixstowe, writes Dominic Ponsford.

Reporter Jon Tunney and photographer Owen Hines got just 100 yards through the front gates before they were picked up by police.

After being questioned they were released without charge.

Proving the idea was a win-win scenario for the newsdesk, the exposure of top-notch security at the port made a front-page story for the next day’s paper.

Star deputy editor Mike Pennock said: “The port is one of the biggest employers in our area and we have done stories about security there before. You don’t have to produce a pass to get on to the site, so we thought we’d test it ourselves. We were quite happy to see that port security seemed to work very well.”

Felixstowe is the UK’s biggest container port and the Evening Star was keen to test security at its apparently unguarded pedestrian entrance.

Port spokesman Paul Davey said: “We take security very seriously and believe we have a good record. They entered through the pedestrian gate and were picked up on CCTV by the police because they seemed to be acting in a suspicious manner.

They were heading towards the main office building when they were picked up a minute or two after entering the port.”

Although the port is private property, it has public access and is policed by its own privately funded force.

The Evening Star investigation followed the arrest of two people in Ipswich last week on suspicion of being involved in terrorism.

They were still being held this week under police anti-terror powers.

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