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British Overseas Territories: Borders

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance his Department has provided to the UK Overseas Territories in respect of border (a) patrol and (b) enforcement in the last 12 months. (276810)

In the last 12 months the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has provided funding through its Overseas Territories Programme Fund to the UK Overseas Territories (OTs) towards the costs of the following projects linked to border patrol and enforcement:

An aviation/maritime security supervisor's workshop to provide management training and threat/technical updates to supervisors of international sea-port and airport check point operations

A Caribbean Regional Maritime Training Co-ordinator whose remit covers interdiction and border management training

A multi agency threat and risk assessment programme to identify and mitigate risks from criminal activity and terrorism in the OTs. The programme led to the creation of a committee and subsequently a risk register for each Caribbean OT, together with action plans to reduce areas of significant risk that include sea and airports

A Chief Immigration Officers’ Regional Conference to educate and foster close working relationships, improve and enhance information and intelligence exchange between the Overseas Territories Chief Immigration Officers and regional partners

The Overseas Territories Regional Criminal Intelligence System (OTRCIS); a networked computer system that provides the police, customs and immigration departments of the UK's Caribbean OTs with a crime intelligence and information analysis secure data system.

In addition, the Overseas Territories Programme Fund supports an Overseas Territories Law Enforcement Adviser and Regional Prison Reform Co-ordinator based in Miami and Southern Ocean Police and Prison Advisers.

The FCO did not assist Gibraltar in respect of her border patrol or enforcement.