Zeeland has been assigned a port police force to combat drug smuggling via the province’s ports but more manpower is needed, local police have said.

A team of 25 detectives, police officers and intelligence analysts will be monitoring the ports of Vlissingen, Borsele, Terneuzen and Moerdijk, broadcaster Omroep Zeeland reported.

Zeeland had long petitioned the government for a port police force of its own. While local authorities are happy with the new team, at least double the number of officials is needed to combat drug crime effectively in the ports, district police chief Joost Manusama told the broadcaster.

The government earmarked an extra €4 million to combat crime in ports, of which €1.2 million has been allocated to the port police. The rest of the money will go to more camera surveillance, higher security gates, biometric entryway systems and training to arm port workers against criminal influence.

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