Marine police better equipped to patrol borders
State Minister in the Ministry of National Security Zavia Mayne said the country's ability to protect its borders was given a major boost on Wednesday with the donation of a RIGID Hull Inflatable Boat donated from Japan.
He said that another five other patrol boats are also expected to arrive in the island later this year. He was speaking to THE STAR after the handover ceremony held at the Marine Police Division's headquarters at Newport East, Kingston.
"We are in a much better position as of today to tackle some of the issues that we face in protecting our borders. I mean, marine security is important to us as you know transnational criminal operations are at large, whether it be drugs, contraband, illegal or unauthorised fishing, human trafficking. They are at large," Mayne said.
While not armed with precise numbers, Mayne said that human trafficking is highly sophisticated.
"A lot persons are victims of human trafficking and they don't even know. Our law enforcement officers themselves are experiencing challenges in identifying instances of human trafficking as compared to other forms of illegal and criminal activities. So we have done expansive sensitisation and training of our police officers, immigration officers, social workers and other important personnel who are relevant to the fight of human trafficking," he said.
Mayne also lamented the ease with which criminals have access to guns in Jamaica and reiterated the need to immediately put an end to the importation of firearms.
"There is an appetite for guns and crime in Jamaica. The demand is there, our borders are porous and supply continues to come. Guns are not made in Jamaica but the amount of guns you have here you wonder how did this get here. But certainly, if there was no demand, there would be little or no guns," Mayne said, while adding that the trafficking of animals is another area of concern for law enforcement.
The boats are being donated under the Government of Japan's Grant Aid Programme to the tune of J$420 million.