World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Australia Arms its Customs officers

Arming of front-line Customs officers

In a major boost to border security the Australian Government will arm additional frontline Customs officers, the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison announced today.

These are the first Customs officers to be armed other than those involved in marine patrols.

Senator Ellison said the changing environment in which Customs investigated border related crimes required the measure to bolster security at Australia’s borders.

“Customs officers carry out border security functions at wharves and remote locations, execute search warrants and board and search vessels in an increasingly hostile environment,” Senator Ellison said.

The use of firearms is governed by the direction of the Customs CEO under the Customs Act. This is consistent with principles that govern the use of force by the Australian Federal Police.

“The Australian Customs Service is more than ever charged with the task of securing our borders from the threat of terrorism and transnational crime,” Senator Ellison said.

Suitably trained officers will be issued with Glock handguns, personal body armour, batons, capsicum spray, and handcuffs. The first deployment of officers will be in Melbourne to assist with the preparation of security for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Senator Ellison said initially around 80 additional officers in front-line Customs roles would be armed.

Customs officers who investigate the import and export of prohibited goods including weapons and non-narcotic drugs will now be armed as well as officers involved in waterfront patrols and the boarding of international vessels when they arrive in Australia.

Customs already has almost 300 armed officers engaged in maritime patrol and response functions as part of the National Marine Unit (NMU) and Southern Ocean Maritime Patrol and Response Unit (SOMPRU).

“Customs officers must be equipped to handle whatever situations arise during normal operations and when illegal activities are detected,” Senator Ellison said.

The training and certification process will be comprehensive and exhaustive. Training will be provided to the same standard as that undertaken by the Australian Federal Police. Customs NMU and SOMPRU officers currently receive this level of training.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news