The Cabinet has approved an extra $400 allowance to each member of the Joint Task Force assisting with marine border security.
The task force was developed when COVID
-19 hit the BVI, to help prevent the illegal smuggling of drugs and COVID
-infected persons into the territory.
The team is made up of police as well as Customs and Immigration officers.
During the March 10 sitting of the House of Assembly, Premier Fahie
explained that the new allowance doesn’t affect previous allowances that some law enforcers were already entitled to. This means all members of the Joint Task Force will receive the payments monthly.
However, the Premier pointed out that the new allowance was not agreed upon when the Joint Task Force was initially commissioned in 2020.
But he said officers requested the extra compensation because of the amount of extra work they were doing to secure the borders.
“It (payment) would not stretch for the full life span of the Joint Task Force, it would only go to the last few months. After a while when officers realised the magnitude and the time they had to be putting in — and most of them had to be taken off vacation — so it’s a lot of work and manpower that had to be put in to keep us safe,” Premier Fahie
Border security has been a major concern since COVID
-19 started impacting the BVI directly.
Recently, it was announced that the government has been spending roughly $11,600 each day for two barges to help secure the marine borders.