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More specialised training for border control personnel

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Immigration officers, and other national security personnel, are to undergo intense training in international border security protocols starting today.

The training, organised by the Immigration Department with the assistance of the British High Commission in St. John’s, will upgrade the skills of border control officers and boost their ability to detect fraud or attempts to breach the country’s borders.

The start of the training initiative follows months of discussions between UK High Commissioner, Lindsy Thompson, and Antigua and Barbuda’s Department of Immigration on the need to improve cooperation on the issue of border security between both nations.

According to Chief Immigration Officer Katrina Yearwood, the officers involved will receive training on improving their interviewing skills which will allow border control officers to better detect fraudulent claims and identify attempts to circumvent the law through various means including marriages of convenience.

“There will also be behavioural techniques training with both theoretical and practical sessions. The training will run over a five-day period,” Yearwood stated.

Officers from the Department of Immigration, Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda and other local security personnel will participate.

An invitation was extended to the Montserrat’s Chief Immigration Officer who has sent two officers to take part in the training.

The International Immigration Border Security Training takes place at the Trade Winds Hotel.

Two UK-based border security experts will facilitate the workshop.

Yearwood said emphasis will be placed on the practical application of the theoretical concepts introduced over the course of the week.

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