Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Senseless Security

"Gesture security" has been the target of newspaper comment and correspondence in the wake of last week's terrorism scares. Sometimes, it seems, security officials waste time and energy checking travellers who are least likely to pose a threat.

We encountered a prime example as we returned from France recently. Our car broke down at the entrance to the Calais ferry port. We pushed it through passport control and waited for the AA. Condemned to wait for several hours we not only need to stretch our legs but also to walk to a toilet.

But a UK immigration officer - there to supervise passport checks - the demanded we should stay in the car because of "heightened security". Fortunately one of her colleagues adopted a more flexible approach.

Daft responses such as this surely weaken the credibility of those who genuinely need to impose restrictions.

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