L-R Francis Forbes, Executive Director, CARICOM IMPACS; Steve G. Foster, Chair CARICOM Commissioners of Police and Commissioner of Police, Royal Montserrat Police Force; Adriel Brathwaite, Chair, Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) and Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Barbados; Senator Gary Griffith, Minister of National Security, Trinidad and Tobago; Stephen Williams, Commissioner of Police (Ag), Trinidad and Tobago; Commodore Roderick Bowe, Chair CARICOM Military Chiefs and Commander Royal Bahamas Defence Force; Barry Bristman, Political Councilor, High Commission of Canada
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- The CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security convened the 18th joint meeting of the standing committees of commissioners of police and military chiefs (CPMC) on Friday 2 May 2014 in Port of Spain, Trinidad. This executive level forum of CARICOM commissioners of police and military chiefs forms a critical part of the regional security architecture; where all the regional operational heads meet jointly to review current and evolving security threats and advance security initiatives to reduce crime and promote security in the region.
The two bodies discussed issues related to the establishment and enhancement of joint communication coordinating centres, civil military cooperation, information and intelligence sharing, capacity building and training, ratification of both the CARICOM arrest warrant treaty and the arms trade treaty as well as integrated operations and disaster response management.
The meeting, which was also attended by representatives of The Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) and members of the diplomatic corps, was chaired by Francis Forbes, former commissioner of police Jamaica and now executive director of CARICOM IMPACS.
It commenced with a feature address given by Senator Gary Griffith, minister of national security, Trinidad and Tobago and remarks from Adriel Brathwaite, attorney general and minister of home affairs, Barbados; current chairman of CARICOM Council of Ministers with responsibility for Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE).
Griffith noted in his address that there have been great strides in advancing and promoting regional security especially with the endorsement of the CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy (developed by IMPACS and endorsed by CARICOM heads), which is the blueprint for addressing crime in the region. He also stated that Trinidad and Tobago’s security is directly linked to the dynamics of CARICOM security and that deepening regional engagements and implementing integrated regional policies with other CARICOM member states will enhance both national and regional security. He took the opportunity to commend IMPACS for their lead role in the coordination and harmonization of regional security activities.
Griffith and Brathwaite both spoke passionately about the importance of coordinating and harmonizing regional security activities and encouraged a collaborative approach to fighting crime. Also speaking at the opening were Commodore Roderick Bowe, Commander Royal Bahamas Defence Force and chair of standing Committee of Military Chiefs and Steve Foster, commissioner of police, Royal Montserrat Police Force and chair of standing committee of Police Commissioners.
Participants all acknowledged the benefits derived from the meeting since it allowed both police commissioners and military chiefs to discuss issues that are common and pertinent to each other which have regional and national implications.
During the meeting participants received information from several noted speakers on a wide variety of subjects including transnational organized crimes, security trends in the region, Trinidad and Tobago National Security Operational Centre (NSOC), Arms Trade Treaty, firearms tracing and a mobile information sharing tool, the CARICOM Information and Intelligence Sharing Network CISNET among others.
IMPACS executive director, Francis Forbes recognized the stalwart efforts of commissioners and military chiefs for their commitment to addressing crime in a collaborative and cooperative manner recognizing that it would yield results. Forbes thanked the government of Trinidad and Tobago and the minister of national security for assistance in hosting the meeting. He also thanked the ministry of national security, Trinidad and Tobago, the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force as well as members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service for their contribution to logistics and security, both critical to the success of the meeting.
Recommendations presented at the meeting will be presented to the sixth meeting of the Council of Ministers Responsible for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) in June 2014.