The Governor’s Office and Office of the Premier have announced that senior officers from the UK’s Border Force and Maritime and Coastguard Agency are being seconded to the Cayman Islands to oversee changes in the way in which Cayman’s borders are protected and its search and rescue services provided.
Colin Brown, who is currently Head of Border Force’s UK National Targeting Centre, will arrive in early January for an initial period of six months to oversee the modernisation of immigration and customs procedures at Cayman’s borders and to advise on the transformation of elements of both departments into an integrated “Cayman Islands Border Protection Service”.
Phil Bostock, who is a Commander in the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), will also arrive in January for a one year attachment to ensure that the recommendations made in the MCA’s comprehensive report on Search and Rescue Capability in the Cayman Islands, published earlier this year, are implemented.
Commander Bostock will also be advising on the transformation of maritime assets into a Cayman Islands Coastguard. Both these secondments result from policy initiatives announced by the Premier in the Legislative Assembly on 27 October 2017.
A high level steering committee has also been established to oversee both initiatives. This will be chaired by Chief Officer Wesley Howell and include the Commissioner of Police, Head of the Governor’s Office, Collector of Customs, Acting Head of Immigration and other key officials from the RCIPS and Civil Service.
Premier Alden McLaughlin commented, “I am delighted that we have managed to secure the services of two highly experienced professionals from Border Force and the UK MCA. This has been the result of close collaboration between the Governor’s Office, the RCIPS, Customs and the Ministry of Human Resources and Immigration. The formation of a new Border Protection Service and Coastguard in the Cayman Islands is a priority of this Government, and as I mentioned during the budget session, it is a vital step forward in our work to counter illegal immigration and organised crime, including the smuggling of weapons and drugs. Improvements to the coordination of search and rescue services will also make it safer for everyone to enjoy our amazing natural marine resources.”
Governor Helen Kilpatrick said, “The Premier and I are committed to the modernisation and improvement of the Cayman Islands security including the safety of people at sea. These projects mark the start of this journey and we are grateful to Border Force and the MCA for providing us with experienced officers to help guide and shape the structures that we intend to develop. We also have an experienced and dedicated local team that will oversee this work and I would like to thank them for their commitment and work so far.”