Caribbean Coast Guard strengthens cooperation

In the coming year, the Caribbean Coast Guard will strengthen its information position and cooperation with partner services within law enforcement. This is stated in the ‘Annual Plan 2021 Carib Coastguard’ that Minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten (Defense) sent to the Lower House today. 

The aim is to further strengthen the so-called intelligence- driven police action in the maritime domain in the coming year . This is done through good cooperation with other executive services within the Kingdom. For example, there is more emphasis on analysis capacity, more intensive cooperation with international partners and improved digital infrastructure and information management.

Together with the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, Dutch Customs and the national services, the Carib Coastguard is intensively involved in strengthening border control. The purpose of the border control measures is to contribute to countering cross-border / transnationally organized (undermining) crime in the Caribbean countries of the Kingdom and to improve mutual cooperation between the services.

Dynamic work field

The coast guard operates in a dynamic field. Thus Venezuela is in a political, social and financial-economic crisis. In addition, the long coastlines are difficult to monitor and the Caribbean has to deal with a lot of drug trafficking.

In the field of detection, a significant improvement in quality will be made from next year. This is done, for example, with the new shore detection system, which allows the coast guard to maintain an up-to-date environmental image. This also includes mobile radars, drones and cameras.

Additional staff

Thanks to previously announced investments by the Dutch government, the coastguard will be able to hire additional personnel for the next 5 years. There is room for expansion at the Coast Guard support centers with dozens of full-time positions. The intention is that by 2025 the coast guard will be able to perform its tasks completely independently 24 hours a day by means of intelligence- led police action.

Investments are also being made in the field of equipment. The countries within the Kingdom jointly contribute to the financing. This will benefit the refurbishment of the cutters – the ships with which the coast guard carries out its tasks -, the helicopter capacity and the shore radar. A boat jetty will be constructed on Bonaire in 2021 as part of a new multidisciplinary maritime hub on Bonaire.

The Coast Guard for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean provides maritime safety in the Caribbean through detection, surveillance (enforcement) and services.