heathrow horror

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MrPlum
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Re: heathrow horror

Post by MrPlum » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:44 am

I think Heathrow falls under Border control. Page 26, Section 6 of the PDF applies to officer behaviour...

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitec ... ent-guide/

I have read (but not had confirmed) that the burger flippers, who are acting as quasi-Police, in the U.S., are scanning flash drives, hard disks, phones, as a matter of course.

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Re: heathrow horror

Post by margaretcarnes » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:33 am

redzonerocker wrote:
caller wrote:
Thats never happened to me, it sounds as though they could have been acting on specific information?
Quite likely.
If they are looking at photos etc, i would guess they are checking for anything to do with child/underage sex or trafficking, not specifically drugs.

I wish they were as stringent on other flights coming in :roll:
It certainly does sound like a tip off, and a pretty specific one at that. But - if people have nothing to hide they shouldn't complain IMO. We would be the first to kick off on here about the paedos in Thailand - viz the Gary Glitter incident in 2008. And let's face it - what does a paedo look like? Could be anybody.

BTW I was pulled for a full baggage check - first time ever - going out of HUMBERSIDE airport for gawds sake last November. And many others were checked that day too. Fortunately the customs guy was ultra polite - he was after all only doing his job. There is no excuse for them being bolshy and rude, but at the same time it's a job which has to be done.
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Re: heathrow horror

Post by hhfarang » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:55 am

Back in my traveling days I was pulled out of line once in the U.S. (LAX or SFO) and my belongings were gone through thoroughly. The guy was polite about it so I asked him "why me". He said I just won the lottery and laughed. He then explained that because of complaints of profiling, customs there had been instructed to check every 7th person coming through (only) no matter want they looked like.

I didn't think this was a very effective way of finding smugglers or terrorists, but I decided not to say that to him as I wasn't in the mood for a full body cavity search.
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Re: heathrow horror

Post by KateB » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:05 pm

[quote="fabman"]
i was then asked all sorts of nasty questions and given filthy looks by the middle aged english women officer ( did i meet my wife in a bar , am i a sex tourist and some worse questions which i wont repeat )
i know they have to do these checks now and again but some of these falang women ( not all ) do seem to be very vindictive

Fabman -
If you were asked 'are you a sex tourist' - surely you just replied honestly - yes/no? It's not illegal to be a sex tourist and none of the border official's business (obviously I'm referring to consenting/of age adults).

With regard to being picked out and searched....it happens and understandably so. I was stopped on the UK/Ireland route in the 90s due to a tip off about a particular lone female potential terrorist travelling at that time. I didn't mind and understood completely why they did it - but thought the fact that they thoroughly searched my butties (sandwiches to any non UK Northerners), which my Mum had lovingly made, was possibly taking it a step too far.

Just after re-reading your post though, it occurred to me that, when relating the incident afterwards to my friends, I didn't once refer to the questioning officer's gender/age/possible vindictiveness.....

So here's to safe travels, not too much butt..y searching, and possibly, oh go on, let's give it a go...a little less misogyny?!
:cheers:

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Re: heathrow horror

Post by STEVE G » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:53 pm

Being searched is one thing but being asked questions about your personal life with regards to your wife is surely outside the remit of the UK Border Agency. I've travelled to Thailand more than 40 times out of continental Europe and when returning I've never been questioned in any country about anything, they chuck your bag through an x-ray machine if they want and off you go.

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Re: heathrow horror

Post by Big Boy » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:18 pm

Everybody seems to be knocking the actions of the UK Border Agency here. Are we really sure that they had overstepped the mark? I regularly watch the fly on the wall series called UK Border Agency, where the camera crew record many different elements of their work. The type of questions in the OP are not unusual, and are shown every week on UK TV. Nobody here is complaining - and they are totally upfront with what they are doing.

Lets not forget why it's happening. These guys are simply doing a difficult job - often receiving much abuse. Please remember the low life's who are making such questioning necessary.
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Re: heathrow horror

Post by STEVE G » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:38 pm

The type of questions in the OP are not unusual,...
I'm still at a complete loss at to what questions about someones personal life with respect to their wife have to do with the job of the UK Border Agency.

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Re: heathrow horror

Post by Big Boy » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:47 pm

I must admit, the lines of questioning used to make me wince in the beginning. However, maybe I've been brainwashed now by watching the programme.

Those guys are doing a very difficult job, often in less than favourable circumstances. Unfortunately, innocents will always get hurt, but it's a means to an end. Some of the revelations from this line of questioning are incredible. Clearly designed to rattle the interviewee. However, if they have nothing to hide, what's the problem?
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Re: heathrow horror

Post by STEVE G » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:52 pm

What happens if you don't speak English, do you have to wait for them to find a translator to question you about your wife?

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Re: heathrow horror

Post by bcrglobal » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:55 pm

The questions may be offensive, but that's actually the point. By throwing you off guard, they're hoping you might reveal more than you intend with your body language/eyes/answers, etc. The best response in these situations is a simple "That's a rather offensive question, and I won't dignify it with a response." As to the question of if you met your wife in a bar I would suggest "That's a fairly racist stereotype to be getting along with. Is your supervisor around?"

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Re: heathrow horror

Post by STEVE G » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:16 pm

I see that if you're interviewed, a record of that is required to be kept and you should be asked to sign it:


'Following the stop, it is usual for officers to ask the traveller some initial questions to establish the need for further action. If an officer takes no further action there is no need to keep a record of the intervention. If the officer takes further action, such as a search or interview, a record of the initial questioning must be made either at the time of questioning or at the earliest opportunity afterwards. The person questioned should be invited to sign the record of initial questioning to the effect that it is a true record. Where initial questioning identifies further grounds to suspect the person has goods liable to forfeiture, those additional grounds should also be recorded in the officer's notebook. The person questioned should be invited to sign the record of initial questioning to the effect that it is a true record.'


Also you can record the interview yourself:


'Note: Officers cannot stop someone if they choose to make a video or audio recording of the interview themselves using their own equipment such as a mobile phone, video camera etc.'

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Re: heathrow horror

Post by margaretcarnes » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:46 am

STEVE G wrote:Being searched is one thing but being asked questions about your personal life with regards to your wife is surely outside the remit of the UK Border Agency. I've travelled to Thailand more than 40 times out of continental Europe and when returning I've never been questioned in any country about anything, they chuck your bag through an x-ray machine if they want and off you go.
True Steve on your second point - but there is no obvious x raying of luggage now when you leave Swampy. Maybe it is done yon side of the belt ..... if not then UK customs (and any other countries' for that matter) surely have even more grounds to be as thorough as possible on arrival?
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Re: heathrow horror

Post by dozer » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:40 am

^
Margaret

Suvarnabhumi has 26 of the Computer Tomograpphy X-Ray (CTX) machines, pretty much the best you can get.
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Re: heathrow horror

Post by charlesh » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:01 am

It appears to be a worldwide trend with knuckle draggers and over zealous "border protection" wallers being thrown into these roles. With computerisation and tip offs/set ups they have a good idea of who should be looked at I would imagine.

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Re: heathrow horror

Post by TingTongJohn » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:21 am

It would seem that alot of these officals know more then you or me...Most have never been to Thailand but think they know it all. If you male and alone you must be a sexpat. If you have a camera you must be a perverted sexpat and so on. Its sad. Last time on return I was asked if I was bringing pills back and why me and my Thai wife and our kids keep going back to Thailand. And where was my reciept for the items we bought at the JJ Market (Dumb question maybe she was just testing me). Only a few here in Canada are polite most seem to have chips on their shoulders.
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