GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands — Senior officers from the United Kingdom’s Border Force and Maritime and Coastguard Agency are being seconded to the Cayman Islands to oversee changes in the way in which the British Overseas Territory’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 modernization 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 secondments result from policy initiatives announced by the Premier in the Legislative Assembly on 27 October 2017.
“I am delighted that we have managed to secure the services of two highly experienced professionals from Border Force and the UK MCA,” said Premier Alden McLaughlin.
“The formation of a new Border Protection Service and Coastguard in the Cayman Islands is a priority of this Government….It is a vital step forward in our work to counter illegal immigration and organized 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,” McLaughlin said.
A high-level steering committee has also been established to oversee both initiatives. It 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.
Governor Helen Kilpatrick said he and Premier McLaughlin are committed to the modernization and improvement of 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,” he said.