St Andrew, Jamaica (McN) – At a press conference on Wednesday, Minister of National Security Robert Montague stated that there will be three (3) new marine base established on the coastlines, effective to protect Jamaica’s borders.
Minster Montague stated the marine bases will be operated by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCA) and the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) jointly. He noted that the bases will be effective to control the import of guns into the island.
The Minster stated that it has been difficult to control the flow of guns into the island at the country’s borders; in that Jamaica’s marine space is 25 times the size of the country and, criminals have created 145 illegal points of entry for items into the county.
Locations of the New Marine Bases
The bases will be located at James Bond Beach in St Mary, Alligator Pond in St Elizabeth, and Rocky Point in Clarendon. A Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) that was signed last month.
Minster Montague told to press:
“We do not manufacture guns or bullets legally, yet in 81 per cent of crimes committed in Jamaica, the gun is featured. We have to stop the flow of guns coming into Jamaica. This MOU to provide additional protection along our coast is welcomed…”
Function of the bases: Duties of the marine bases will be to detect and prosecute breaches of the Jamaica Customs Laws and other laws of Jamaica.
Operations will include searching of vessels coming into and leaving the county; interception of suspicious vessels, people, or goods, coastal surveillance and intelligence gathering.
Marine Borders will Reduce Gun and Human Trafficking
According to acting Commissioner of Police, Novelette Grant, a main function of the the new marine bases is ensuring reduction of contraband in and out of the county, and reducing the incidents of human trafficking.
Revamping of the border protection will include the JCA providing two 30-foot (Boston Whaler) watercraft and twin-cab pick-up motor vehicles to be deployed at Rocky Point and Little Ochi bases.
The JCF will provide three (3) marine craft along with a person to steer the boat, and crew, which will be deployed to all bases round the clock – 24 hours each day.