Bringing People Together
Before I start my tale, I am well aware of the need for stringent security and am very glad of it. After I retired from the The Royal Parks Constabulary. I did security work for a couple of years. Wimbledon Tennis, The Guild Hall and many buildings and shops in the West End. The threat in those days came from the IRA. I will now begin my tale !!! In February this year my wife and I landed at Miami Airport on the first leg of a cruise. At Boarder Control my wife stepped forward first. She was finger printed and had her photograph taken. I stepped forward the boarder guard took my passport looked at it and said "Hi Bryan, so you were born in 1933" I said "yes" He said "You sure look good for 81, away you go" My wife, laughing, said why did you photograph and finger print me and not him. The guard said " Anybody born before 1935 ain't no threat to us. A few days ago my wife and I were flying out of Heathrow on our way to Gibraltar. I had to remove my hat, jacket, belt, shoes and place my money and wallet in a tray all were put through the xray machine. So far so good !!! I was then required to stand with my arms out stretched whilst a security guard felt every inch of me, my neck, my arms, my body, my legs, my feet and around the waist band of my trousers. Now, I didn't mind, while I was standing there I didn't have anything else to do. I would have loved to have asked the chap if he had arrested many 81 year old 'Suicide Bombers' But I did not. My point is what ever happened to 'Passenger Profiling' and whilst 'Security' is wasting time on me other travellers have to wait.
Well, you never know these days, Bryan. Would you say that any mother (or I suppose father) travelling with a baby or small child is clearly not a security threat? I would love to say: how could they possibly be? but I am not 100% that would be right.
Hi Bryan, I used to work in security at Heathrow, and did so for 28 years. Security staff have to do a number of random searches, and irrespective of a person's age or appearance. One reason being that even a member of the older generation may be carrying something for someone else, with or without knowledge.
One question I used to get asked was " Do I look like a terrorist?" My answer was always " I don't know. What does one look like?!
Anyone can have a prohibited article, and so everyone has to be subject to search.
Passenger profiling is useful, but limited as many innocent people can exhibit signs that may indicate a possible problem. It is not an exact science.
Hope this is informative for you.
Thank goodness in my first week in the Army I learnt to keep my mouth shut. Unlike Paul Griffith a 75 year old retired hair dresser.I think it was Stansted Airport, at security, he was told to remove his shoes he complied but then made a flippant remark to the Security Officer, he was immediately arrested by two armed police officers, taken to an office where his details were recorded. He was allowed to go on holiday but on his return he was re arrested and charged. He was offered a police 'Caution' but refused. He appeared at the Magistrates Court and pleaded 'Not Guilty' It was only then the CPS realized they did not have a case and offered no evidence. I have learnt whenever I have to travel using an airport I am every bit as miserable as the staff dealing with me!!! Is their job so bad? When I was training to be a police officer it was drummed into us 'Stupid and childish remarks are unworthy of notice' Bryan.