BVI News

Joint Task Force gets GPS, life vests, binoculars to fight at sea

Her Majesty’s Customs is one of the local law enforcement agencies providing enhanced border patrols as the territory closes its ports of entry because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Joint Task Force created to secure the territory’s borders during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has received several batches of maritime security equipment to support its work at sea.

The security equipment was donated by the Office of the Governor and includes maritime binoculars and life preservers.

According to a press release from the the Governor’s Office, the Joint Task Force is set to receive another shipment which contains state-of-the-art night-vision goggles and GPS devices.

Governor Augustus Jaspert said the new equipment will enable law enforcement officers to conduct marine patrols as they will be equipped with the latest technology to spot and deter illegal entries into BVI. 

“The Joint Task Force has been working extremely hard to patrol our extensive land and sea borders. This new equipment will help extend their efforts and capabilities even more. It is imperative that we do everything we can to protect the integrity of our borders and the safety of the people of BVI,” Governor Jaspert said.

Meanwhile, Acting Commissioner of Police Alwin James said he welcomed the additional equipment.

He said: “It is much-needed equipment that will provide for the safety of officers and enhance the ability of the team to do the job more effectively especially in the COVID-19 era of protecting our borders and communities.”

The maritime security equipment will be transferred to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) and the Customs Marine Team after the Joint Task Force no longer requires it.

High-specification navigation equipment for RVIPF’s St Ursula

Additionally, the United Kingdom has also funded the purchase of essential equipment such as high-specification navigation equipment for the RVIPF’s main sea vessel, St Ursula, to get it back on the water.

The governor said this will increase both agencies’ long-term capacity to tackle criminal activity at sea.

Border protection has always been a major area of concern for the BVI. However, the COVID-19 has exacerbated the issue, as many persons have tried to enter the territory illegally despite existing curfews. These reported human smuggling activities have been link to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the territory.

Since the new COVID-19 restrictions, the security forces have apprehended, charged, and deported several persons who attempted to illegally enter the BVI by sea.

Under the current curfew order, there is a restriction on the movement of vessels within the territorial waters, except for approved fisherfolk and intra-island ferries.

 

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13 Comments

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  1. I can’t even laugh says:

    Binoculars in this day and age. If we had taken the help of the British Government we would not have had these imported cases. The government busy taking credit for closing the official borders early. Well if you take the credit for that then you must take the blame for having the sea borders unprotected especially when you were offered assistance from the British military. Now we got man out there on the water with binoculars and life vest while the bad man them got guns, drones and all other kind of thing. Oh! We got three 3 badges out there that getting mega bucks to lay on the water. My bad!

    Like 22
    Dislike 5
  2. Resident says:

    Once again its clear just how lucky we are to be a UK Territory, as we receive this vital equipment from the UK in this difficult time.

    We must have used our money up on the barges and the security guard contracts.

    Like 12
    Dislike 5
    • East End Man says:

      I see the Governor as a mischiefmaker. Clearly the local Government has been investing in the law enforcement agencies so while this is welcome to me the way it is being played in the public is misleading & aimed at mischief.

      Like 2
      Dislike 12
      • Maxwell says:

        @ East End Man: I beg to differ. Law enforcement agencies in the BVI have long been neglected and not only by this present government. How could they perform at the level of expectation of the population if they are not given the tools or provided sufficient funding to enable them to do their jobs?

        Like 7
        Dislike 3
        • To Maxwell says:

          I don’t see how these things were neglected. However if so then how come after 3 years in the BVI then how come only now the Governor who is in charge of the Police is getting this from the Uk? Talk that!

  3. Locked down says:

    They need these and more how about infrared drones for night time use.

    Heighten security for every full moon period. Around that time is when the boats move without lights. They would not drive withoutlights on the new moon when it is pitch dark. Either way you can hear them from land. Add enhanced hearing equipment.

  4. Rubber Duck says:

    So let’s get this straight. The BVI government by way of customs, police etc was not supplying binoculars , life vests and GPS to those expected to go out on the sea and protect the borders? Really? Why would that be?
    Was it to make sure they didn’t catch anyone? Friends of certain government employees etc?

    And the governor’s office and UK are providing them.

    Work it out people.

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
  5. Wow says:

    This is great but why didn’t they have these things in the first place? Why are these gifts so quiet but the constant bashing of the Governor/UK is always so loud?

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  6. Talk Tola says:

    We are becoming just like the USA now; every blinking thing we have to talk. That’s why the criminals are always steps ahead of US. Cha man! Put a sock in it.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  7. C** **** says:

    Only the fiends of host of [a talk show] will try to smuggle people into the BVI. But would put blame on the expats when it’s our own BVI people who’s doing it. Hope the Government catch all their criminal supporters….

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