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Customs Staff Allowed To Carry Weapons In Airports, Peter Dutton Announces Australian Border Force Come Into Effect 2014.

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service or ACBPS officers are now allowed to have their personal defensive equipment or PDE, including firearms, while on duty in airports, New Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton announced. The Department of

Infrastructure agreed to exempt ACBPS officers from airport screening in support of the Australian Border Force or ABF.

The ABF that was announced in May was supposedly to come into operational effect on July 1, 2015. However Dutton made his announcement as early as Dec 30. "This measure will not only increase the capability of our future Border Force Officers, it will also add another layer of deterrence at our borders, and will ensure that the travelling public is as safe as possible," Dutton said in a statement.

All customs officers issued with PDE have received certification of training on appropriate use of force. The officers were taught to use force only as a defence from physical attack or as a means to control people who are showing aggression by being physically non-compliant. Those officers who will be designated to the armed teams will remain anonymous to the public with their numbers, personal information, identity and location will remain classified.

"This government is serious about border protection. People smugglers, transnational crime gangs and narcotic traffickers should be under no illusion. The government is committed to enhancing our nation's border protection arrangements," Dutton highlighted.

As part of the ABF, the ACBPS has already activated five Regional Commands across Australia and had launched a national Strategic Border Command in Canberra. The department had already established the National Border Targeting Centre to better coordinate interagency law enforcement action at Australia's border as well as 8 Counter-terrorism Unit teams at Australia's eight major international airports. Furthermore, the department launched a recruitment campaign in search of more than 100 future Border Force officers who can be designated to frontline operations.

ACBPS is doing its best to safeguard the country's borders and is building a system where criminals are faced with the hardest borders possible, the department said in a separate announcement. Rest assured, legitimate traders and travellers will never be constrained with these new border security in effect, the department said.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Dec 30, 2014
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