Black Immigrant Daily News
Minister of State with responsibility for Crime Prevention, Corey Lane has expressed confidence in the performance and the ability of the Customs Department – Sea Port and the Barbados Port Inc to secure the border.
After concluding a tour of the Bridgetown Port on Tuesday, January 10, the Minister of State in the Office of the Attorney General sought to dispute rumours and allegations that the Seaport Customs was not doing enough with regards to the fight against gun crime in Barbados.
“I am very impressed with the level of security we have right around. I think there has been a major difference between what we hear on the street, what we hear sometimes on the airwaves and what we have here.
We have 100 per cent scanning, clear coverage of the Port and beyond, we have underwater coverage. I think anybody thinking about doing crime has to think twice about Barbados,” Lane remarked.
“I am very happy but still very disappointed that a lot of the things I am hearing here the public is unaware of,” he added.
Rebuking claims that there were not enough cameras on the sea port, Lane stated that there were over 500 cameras in operation at the Bridgetown Port. He indicated that due to the advanced in-house technology, the Barbados Port Inc was an internationally recognised sea port.
“I came here and saw over 500 and something cameras in the port and not only cameras but cameras as I say out of a sci-fi movie that can do mass detection, colour detection, heat detection, face recognition, AI [ artificial intelligence] – it is really beyond. I think the story of the Port and the story of Customs has to be told because over the last three years in particular they have really built in-house technology to be able to monitor the 100 per cent scanning of containers, the barrels, boxes and of the people going in and coming out of the Port.”
“Is it perfect? I would say almost. We are so close and there are a number of terriorities around the world asking ‘how are you able to have such a technologically advance port and at such a reasonable cost?’”
While speaking on the other major improvements that have been implemented in the last three years, Lane admitted that the system was not perfect but there was room for improvement.
“The Port and Customs that we have heard about over the years, is not the Port and Customs that we have today. it has really transformed and transitioned.”
“We have seen the improvement in immigration and customs, these are things that i can tell you. From Brasstacks, caller after caller will complain about the turn-around time in customs, things missing from containers and so on. Do you hear that now?
“They have been able to improve the system, so dramatically that there has almost been a complete hush on these things because the systems are there,” he insisted.
Controller of Customs, Owen Holder told Loop News there has been “a dramatic transformation” in the Customs Department at the Port since 2019. He said this was evidence by the absence of issues during the Christmas season.
“We now have accommodation of port authority, customs and police working side by side. From that point of view, we can say with a high level of surety, that who are watching the guards – we have those border agencies there.”