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Dockyard Security Shamed Again

Mark Scantlebury | 31.05.2006 19:06 | Anti-militarism | World

There has been yet another in a litany of security bungles and nuclear accidents at Devonport Dockyard, currently refitting the UK's Trident submarines


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It seems that the Royal Navy and DML still haven’t learned the lessons of previous Trident Ploughshares infiltrations of HMNB Devonport.

In today’s Sun and Evening Herald, we read of an undercover reporter being waved through two checkpoints and allowed to raom HMS Ocean seemingly unchallenged.

Not only that, the reporter was seemingly able to leave the base as easily as he entered it.
This, yet another in a litany of accidents and bungled security at HMNB Devonport, only serves to further highlight the dangers of having the nuclear fleet in the middle of a city.

Fortunately, the reporter didn’t gain access to Nine Dock, but two Trident Ploughshares members already have.

Why was a stranger allowed to roam the base unchecked?

How could he get away with filing in what is supposed to be a highly secure area?

And what if this reporter had been carrying something a little more harmful than a video camera, such as plastic explosive or, Heaven forbid, some persistent nerve agent or biological weapon?

Trident Ploughshares aren’t gloating over the latest embarassment to befall the Royal Navy, because there isn’t anything to laugh at when these things happen. In fact, we are as horrified as anyone else that this could have been allowed to happen. It seems that dockyard security staff have ignored the lessons of previous infiltrations and perhaps think that, since the annual Disarmament Camp is now closed, they can simply relax and take less care than usual.


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Notes to editors:

Trident Ploughshares is an internationally-known non-violent direct action organisation dedicated to non-violent, open, peaceful and accountable disarmament of the UK’s Trident missile system. For more information visit:

In 2002, members of Trident Ploughshares successfully penetrated the security at HMNB Devonport and were able to board and inspect the Trident missile submarine HMS Vanguard.

Mark Scantlebury
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