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Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, has said that the region must sharpen its ability to defend against threats of international terrorism, which may be presented during the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.
“We dare not lose sight of the fact that during the Cricket World Cup, there will be citizens drawn from either side of the divide of the war on terror, and so the Caribbean needs to do all that is possible to prepare to meet any eventuality,” he stated.
Dr. Phillips was speaking at Friday’s (Sept. 29) graduation ceremony for 40 regional police officers at the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine.
He noted that in preparation for the tournament, the Caribbean partners have forged a “commendable pattern of co-operation in the area of intelligence gathering and sharing”. This co-operation, he said, showed all the signs of lasting way beyond the culmination of the World Cup and was a positive step for the region. “This (training) course is just one manifestation of that co-operation and because of it and others in the past, intelligence officers across the region are able to share information in real time for the protection of the citizens of the region,” he pointed out.
According to the National Security Minister, the region “is beset by a wave of traffickers, who trade in illegal narcotics and … they compromise the integrity of our national institutions, our financial institutions with laundered dirty money, our customs, security forces, political institutions, commercial activities and the very underpinnings of our communities and the morale of our people.”
He pointed out that the free movement of persons within the region “is going to require the ability of our officers to track and bring to book, those who break our laws and this will be done effectively through intelligence sharing”.
He said further that, “we need to widen the scope of academics by understanding and learning to speak the languages of the region such as Creole, Spanish and its dialects, French, Papiamento and Dutch, because the criminals are mastering and using them and it is incumbent on law officers to do the same.”
The 40 law officers, drawn from 12 island states including Jamaica, participated two five-week courses in narcotic intelligence and investigation. Areas covered included intelligence analysis, report writing, information technology, and security awareness and surveillance.