Kerala

Police moot coastal security wing

Fishers to be recruited to sea rescue teams and also as civil police officers

The State police have proposed the formation of a separate Coastal Security Division (CSD) to enforce law better along the State’s 640-km coastline.

An Inspector General of Police will head the proposed division. It will have a dedicated control room and work in close partnership with seafaring fishers and other stakeholders, including the Navy and the Coast Guard.

Intelligence wing

The CSD will have its own intelligence wing. The unit will focus on internal security, seaborne threats, environment protection, anti-smuggling operations and disaster management. An official said the police would model the CSD on the lines of the Crime Branch with a devoted command structure. The police have also mooted a Coastal Security Training School to impart marine enforcement skills to future recruits. The institution will specialise in underwater rescue and extrication of people stranded by floods.

A senior official said the government would soon recruit seafaring fishers as CSD’s sea rescue teams and also as civil police officers through a special recruitment process.

The government would accord preference to children of fishers lost to the sea during Cyclone Ockhi. Their traditional knowledge of the sea and expertise in swimming in rough waters will be tapped for rescue operations and for policing maritime area. The State would also equip the 72 law and order police stations along the coast with at least one fast patrol boat capable of operating in littoral waters and up to 2 km into the sea.

Kerala has 18 Coastal Police Stations for policing provincial waters. The police have proposed a drastic and rapid enhancement of their marine operational capability through acquisition of the latest equipment, including beach buggies, and induction of trained personnel.

A senior official said select officers from the Indian Reserve Battalion would be attached to Naval commando units to train them in interception and boarding of vessels in the high seas, armed assault operations, and sea rescue.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 9:52:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/police-moot-coastal-security-wing/article24962502.ece

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