Delta mayor George Harvie believes the current screening process for containers at Deltaport is opening the door for organized crime.

“To me it’s shocking, it’s not acceptable and I want to be very vocal about it because it needs to be corrected,” Harvie said.

The mayor points to one statistic he finds most concerning: he said since 1997, only 0.5 per cent of 2.4 million containers coming through the port each year have been checked.

“If I was in organized crime, I’d think it is pretty good odds to stuff a container with illegal goods or illegal drugs when you only have 0.5 per cent inspected,” he added.

Delta’s Police Chief Neil Dubord is backing the mayor in calling for an integrated police team with the sole mandate of protecting Canadians from criminal activity happening at West Coast ports.

“We know that ports or marine operations have transnational crimes,” he said. “Crime throughout the world creates risk for us importing and exporting illegal contraband.”

Dubord said currently the Canada Border Services Agency is in charge of checking incoming containers through the port.

CTV News Vancouver has reached out to the CBSA for comment and will update this story if and when a response is received.