Minister Hinds meets with new expert working group for new National Border Security Initiative

Port of Spain: The Minister of National Security, the Honourable Fitzgerald Hinds M.P. attended the first meeting of a new Expert Working Group, which was convened to assist with examining the efficacy of the present border security arrangements of Trinidad and Tobago, on Monday August 30 2021.

The meeting took place at the Ministry of National Security’s Office of Law Enforcement Policy (OLEP), London Street, Port of Spain.

During the period September to December 2021, OLEP will host a series of meetings by the working group. The group consists of persons who are knowledgeable in the field of border security and protective security.

The aim of the Expert Working Group is to:

 Gather and analyse information regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of the present Border Control and Protective Security arrangements in place in Trinidad and Tobago;

 Review methods utilized by border control and protective security agencies worldwide, to determine the usefulness of the methods and contextual fit for Trinidad and Tobago; and

 Draft a comprehensive plan, to achieve an effective, efficient and proactive border control and migration management system, based on coordination, advanced technological capabilities and continuous organizational development and input.

Speaking at the meeting on Monday, Minister Hinds commended the Office of Law Enforcement Policy (OLEP) for convening the meeting of the working group and for taking the lead in this border security initiative. 

The Minister said: “It was only recently that I requested of OLEP to design a comprehensive policy in the area of border security, that can guide this country in its way forward and I must say, that I am very impressed with the enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication that OLEP has exhibited to the fulfilment of this task.”

Minister Hinds addressed a number of issues that continue to affect Trinidad and Tobago, including our country’s current economic hardships, the problem of gang violence, illegal drugs, illegal firearms and ammunitions, corruption, crime within our nation’s prisons, terrorism and our challenges in the area of border security. 

Minister Hinds stated: “I have only outlined some of the issues that are affecting us as a country, of which border security is just one, but this issue is one that happens to be a high priority issue for the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and specifically, for the Ministry of National Security.”

Minister Hinds told members of the working group that part of the process to develop this new Border Security Initiative, will be: to have wide consultations with security stakeholders; to always be guided by the existing legislation put in place by Government; to look at existing recommendations for their efficacy and value; and to streamline, coordinate and explain their recommendations and findings in a comprehensive document, that can aid this country in its way forward.

In attendance, were Ms. Gale Charles, Director of the Office of Law Enforcement Policy, Mr. Allan Miguel, Deputy Director, Office of Law Enforcement Policy, Ms. Jenny Constantine, Policy Analysis, representatives from various agencies of the Ministry of National Security including the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF), Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), the Strategic Services Agency (SSA), the Immigration Division, the Transnational Organised Crime Unit (TOCU), the Customs and Excise Division of the Ministry of Finance and representatives from the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago and the Chaguaramas Development Authority.

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