The T&T Coast Guard’s will regain use of more interceptor vessels for increased border security and the police are getting premises to call “home.”
National Security Minister Stuart Young announced these developments at yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing.
Commenting on the recent discovery of illegal immigrants entering T&T through Los Iros and possibly other illagal ports of entry, Young said he’d since asked authorities for structures and plans to increase border security.
Consequently, border security initiatives will involve getting 14 Coast Guard interceptor vessels back up and running in the shortest time.
He said when Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley recently visited Coast Guard headquarters, it was learnt that many of the Coast Guard’s 25 interceptors weren’t working.
The cost of getting the 14 boats back into service is $6 million. They will bring to 19 the total number of working interceptors. He said they’ll be strategically placed along T&T’s coast on the basis of intelligence reports, among plans to defend the porous borders.
Young admitted there are some deficiencies in border security, hence need for the interceptors.
“But there are also other things we’re doing. What will happen is intelligence driven,” Young said.
All agencies are also increasing patrols and processes. Immigration is also doing so, police raids are on and communication with Venezuelan counterparts are also ongoing, Young said.
Young also said Cabinet yesterday agreed to give the Police Social and Welfare Association (TTPSWA) state land with buildings on it.
“For many years prior, the association had been looking for a home. We appreciate the job policemen and women do in the service and the stresses and rigours they go through daily,” he said.
“TTPSWA will use the buildings there and construct an area for members to come to exercise, meet and associate with each other— basically a safe zone for police to have wellness in their lives. They can build their own headquarters, wellness facility and assets that will help the service.”
Young also said there was no information connecting any of the recent homicides. Following some murders, including three double murders within days of each other, he said an emergency meeting was held last Saturday and the National Security Council met on Wednesday with all 28 police divisional commanders.
Young added a recent “Business Insider” article ranking T&T as the 12th most dangerous place globally had no comparative analysis with other states and was simply social media “click bait.”
“…That (report) looks legitimate but is really mischief,” Young said.