Customs staff to be armed at Australian airports

 Customs officers at Australian airports will be armed in the new year to crack down on criminal gangs and drug traffickers, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said.

IANS| Updated: Dec 30, 2014, 14:51 PM IST

Canberra: Customs officers at Australian airports will be armed in the new year to crack down on criminal gangs and drug traffickers, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said.

"As of next year, customs and border protection officers will be permitted to carry personal defensive equipment, which includes firearms, while on duty at Australian airports," said Dutton, Canberra Times reported.

"This measure will not only increase the capability of our future Border Force officers but also add another layer of deterrence at our borders and will ensure that the travelling public is as safe as possible," Dutton said.