Government will be issuing a monthly allowance to each officer involved in the territory’s border security initiative during the COVID-19 period.
This is according to Premier Andrew Fahie who made that statement at a press conference this week.
The Premier did not disclose the exact sum of money that will be issued but said it is an incentive for the border security officers’ hard work during this time.
“We have boosted our manpower for law enforcement and border protection by redeploying personnel from within our systems and may I add that we are making sure that allowances will be passed for all officers monthly who are part of the security team during the COVID-19 era until those officers are no longer deployed in that capacity,” the Premier said.
He added: “We want to do that not only for our law enforcement but across the board for those who have fought so hard with COVID-19. We have to reward our people even in these bitter hard times … because not only are they working now, they are actually putting their lives on the line.”
More patrol vessels to arrive next week
Premier Fahie also said his government is putting the necessary measures in place to increase the overall fleet size of law enforcement vessels to further protect and strengthen the territory’s borders.
“By next week, Customs should have at least three more vessels on the water when all of the parts reach. Within the next month, Customs and police will have at least seven more vessels out there combined and we have other areas that we are bringing to strengthen our border in terms of equipment and material resources,” Fahie stated
Appeal to residents to report signs of border breaches
The Premier also appealed to residents to report any sightings of border breaches to the relevant authorities.
He said he believes this will assist with his goal of discouraging persons from sneaking into the BVI or attempting to smuggle other people into the territory.
“Just a few persons can cause a country millions of dollars and those who do it are getting less questions than those of us who are trying to prevent them from doing it. But that’s part of being at the top. So if you see persons smuggling, please call 311 with any information that you have,” Fahie urged.
The Premier has expressed extreme confidence in the ability of local personnel to effectively protect the BVI’s borders and recently said accepting military assistance from the United Kingdom would be ‘a last resort’.
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