Montserrat Police Gifted Drone to Improve National Security
The Ministry of Communications, Works, Labour and Energy today presented a Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) or drone to the Royal Montserrat Police Service (RMPS) to enhance its national security system.
The drone was presented to senior officers in the RMPS, during a brief presentation ceremony held at the Ministry’s headquarters in Brades.
During his remarks, the Honourable Minister of Communications, Paul Lewis noted that the Ministry is responsible for implementing the ‘National ICT Strategy, Policy and Implementation Plan’ for the Government of Montserrat and as such the Ministry accepts submissions from various departments in terms of their Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions and requirements. He explained that the presentation of the drone to the RMPS was based on a submission from the Police and is important for their work. Mr. Lewis said, “It’s my pleasure to announce to the RMPS that we were in a position to partially address their submission. This (drone) is a critical and useful piece of equipment for surveillance especially for authorities such as the RMPS.”
Commissioner of Police, Steve Foster and Deputy Commissioner, Charles Thompson accepted the drone on behalf of the RMPS.
Commissioner Foster expressed his gratitude to Minister Lewis and the Ministry for their contribution which will enhance the RMPS’ national security capabilities. Mr. Foster explained that the RMPS submitted a business case on ‘enhancing Montserrat’s National Security’ which included CCTV systems and a drone. He said, “This is the first step in enhancing our National Security infrastructure and also helping us to police Montserrat more safely.”
Mr. Foster noted that the drone will enable the RMPS to better monitor the unsafe zone and remote areas of the island. He explained, “The unsafe zone has been reasonably unpoliced and based on intelligence, this is the area in which lots of illegal activity have been occurring. With this drone, we are able now to easily police the unsafe area and remote areas without actually endangering the Officers health and safety.”
Deputy Commissioner, Charles Thompson highlighted the need for the RMPS to continue to make efforts to stay abreast with current trends and technology which can enhance their service to the public. He said, “In order for us to be effective and efficient we also have to keep with the times, and it is significant that we are receiving this equipment which will bolster our surveillance and our ways and means of serving Montserrat.”
Manager of the John A. Osborne Airport, Joseph Irish was also present at the ceremony. He provided information on the rules and regulations for the use of the small unmanned aircraft. The rules and regulations presented were based on the Air Safety Support International (ASSI) guidelines.