National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds attended the first of several meetings with technical advisers and members of the protective services to assess the efficacy of Trinidad and Tobago's border security measures on Monday.
A media release from the Ministry of National Security reported that Hinds met with the officials at the ministry's Office of Law Enforcement Policy (OLEP) on London Street, Port of Spain, at the first of a series of meetings expected to continue from September to December.
The team of consultants, dubbed an: Expert Working Group" in the release, is expected to gather and analyse information on the effectiveness of TT's border security, review the methods of international security agencies and adapt effective measures to TT's landscape and to draft a plan to achieve effective border control.
At the meeting on Monday Hinds highlighted several national security issues, saying border security was still a top priority for the government, and vowed to work with different agencies to achieve effective border management.
He was reported as saying, "I have only outlined some of the issues that are affecting us as a country, of which border security is just one, but this issue is one that happens to be a high-priority issue for the government of TT and specifically, for the Ministry of National Security."
Hinds also said this new border-security initiative would require consultations with different security stakeholders while being guided by existing legislation and explain recommendations in a document.
He also commended the OLEP for its willingness to assist in the exercise and was hopeful this enthusiasm would continue until the report was completed.
The meeting was attended by director and deputy director of the OLEP Gale Charles and Allan Miguel respectively, policy analysis Jenny Constantine and officials from the police, defence force, strategic services agency, the immigration unit, the transnational organise crime unit and the customs and excise division of the Ministry of Finance.