Ports—sites adjacent to oceans, lakes, and rivers, where cargo is loaded or unloaded from ships—have had high rates of crime ever since passengers and goods were first transported by water. As a result, crime control activities in ports and the surrounding cities have been carried out for thousands of years. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, however, there has been increased monitoring of large ships, their cargo, and crews, primarily to counter potential terrorist activities; this surveillance is being carried out by navies, law enforcement agencies (including coast guards), and private security firms. The levels of scrutiny and inspections that ships undergo depend on the threats that have been assessed and the size of the ports, as smaller facilities often have less ...

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