British bases customs officers get mobile upgrade

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British Bases Customs and Immigration’s efforts to tackle illegal migration and smuggling along its boundary in the Eastern SBAs have been boosted after officers took delivery of four new specialised BMW patrol vehicles.

The vehicles, which are now operational, have been enhanced with floodlighting systems and high-definition long-range cameras with a thermal imaging capability to combat illegal activity in remote areas.

The delivery of the new vehicles takes the SBA Customs and Immigration fleet to 11 in the ESBA, ensuring officers are given the best equipment available to perform their duties now crossing points have reopened.

Head of SBA Customs and Immigration in Dhekelia, Adam Chatfield, said the new vehicles were an important addition to his team’s capabilities.

“All officers in the ESBA and WSBA have now received their training.

“The additional vehicles are essential in maintaining our boundary patrols with the uplift in resources.

“The thermal imaging is a fantastic piece of equipment for covering large areas in low visibility.

“The vehicles are additional to support our 24/7 patrols, and whilst thermal capability equipment has been used in the past, these vehicles give us the latest technology for our boundary security work.”

BMW vehicles are already being put to good use against the threat of illegal immigration, an issue which the Customs chief describes as the ‘main challenge’ for his officers.

“These vehicles help us combat illegal migration by disrupting and deterring this activity.

“We have already seen a positive impact in various areas along the boundary, and this has been down to the use of the additional equipment, resource and good cooperation with other law enforcement agencies in Cyprus,” said Chatfield.