The Ministry of Communications, Works, Labour andÂ Energy today presented a Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) or drone to the RoyalÂ Montserrat Police Service (RMPS) to enhance its national security system.
The drone was presented to senior officers in the RMPS, during a brief presentationÂ ceremony held at the Ministryâ€™s headquarters in Brades.
During his remarks, the Honourable Minister of Communications, Paul Lewis noted that theÂ Ministry is responsible for implementing the â€˜National ICT Strategy, Policy andÂ Implementation Planâ€™ for the Government of Montserrat and as such the Ministry acceptsÂ submissions from various departments in terms of their Information and CommunicationÂ Technology (ICT) solutions and requirements. He explained that the presentation of theÂ drone to the RMPS was based on a submission from the Police and is important for theirÂ work. Mr. Lewis said, â€œItâ€™s my pleasure to announce to the RMPS that we were in aÂ position to partially address their submission. This (drone) is a critical and useful piece ofÂ equipment for surveillance especially for authorities such as the RMPS.â€
Commissioner of Police, Steve Foster and Deputy Commissioner, Charles ThompsonÂ accepted the drone on behalf of the RMPS.
Commissioner Foster expressed his gratitude to Minister Lewis and the Ministry for theirÂ contribution which will enhance the RMPSâ€™ national security capabilities. Mr. FosterÂ explained that the RMPS submitted a business case on â€˜enhancingÂ Montserratâ€™s NationalÂ Securityâ€™ which included CCTV systems and a drone. He said, â€œThis is the first step inÂ enhancing our National Security infrastructure and also helping us to police MontserratÂ more safely.â€
Mr. Foster noted that the drone will enable the RMPS to better monitor the unsafe zoneÂ and remote areas of the island. He explained, â€œThe unsafe zone has been reasonablyÂ unpoliced and based on intelligence, this is the area in which lots of illegal activity haveÂ been occurring. With this drone, we are able now to easily police the unsafe area andÂ remote areas without actually endangering the Officers health and safety.â€
Deputy Commissioner, Charles Thompson highlighted the need for the RMPS to continueÂ to make efforts to stay abreast with current trends and technology which can enhance theirÂ service to the public. He said, â€œIn order for us to be effective and efficient we also have toÂ keep with the times, and it is significant that we are receiving this equipment which willÂ bolster our surveillance and our ways and means of serving Montserrat.â€
Manager of the John A. Osborne Airport, Joseph Irish was also present at the ceremony.Â He provided information on the rules and regulations for the use of the small unmannedÂ aircraft. The rules and regulations presented were based on the Air Safety SupportÂ International (ASSI) guidelines.