UK & World News
Changing Border Checks Could Cut Waiting Time
A different method of checking passengers arriving at Britain's airports could result in shorter waiting times, MPs have said.
The Commons Home Affairs Select Committee says risk-based checks at the UK's borders should be brought back to help ease airport queues.
A pilot scheme, scrapped in the wake of last year's row over the unauthorised relaxation of security checks, should be brought back and could help process large groups of low-risk school children through immigration much more quickly, a report said.
But the committee warned that risk-based checks should not replace time-consuming and thorough security measures on every passenger simply to ease long waiting times.
It also called for the introduction of "smart zones" - where passengers on low-risk routes are screened before they arrive in the UK on the basis of information provided by carriers - to be brought forward from December this year.
If risk-based checks are not brought back, more Border Force staff may be needed, the committee added.
A report from the committee says: "We believe that it is perfectly possible to maintain robust border controls while operating a risk-based model.
"(Theresa May) should start by immediately reintroducing the pilot she suspended in November 2011.
"The pilot was very limited in terms of which checks it authorised officers to drop at their own discretion but would nonetheless have been effective in processing large, low-risk parties such as schoolchildren through immigration much more quickly."
Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the committee, said: "The Home Office must immediately reinstate the risk-based pilot for entry checks that was abandoned by the Home Secretary last November."
Under the abandoned pilot scheme, certain groups did not need to be checked against the Home Office Warnings Index (Howi), a database of suspected terrorists and those with adverse immigration histories.
Officials were also authorised to use their discretion over whether or not to read the biometric chip, containing a second photograph, in the passports of European Economic Area nationals.
While initial assessments were positive, with a 10% increase in arrests, a 100% increase in firearms detection and a 48% increase in the detection of forged documents on the same period the previous year, it was scrapped following last year's border security row.
The committee said it was also alarmed that maximum waiting times have been "consistently very high for the last 12 months".
The maximum wait fell below two hours in only three of the previous 12 months, varying between one hour 55 minutes last November to two hours 55 minutes last July, figures showed.
"Maximum queue times of two hours or more should be a rare occurrence, corresponding to extraordinary levels of traffic, a security alert or a problem at one or more major ports," they said.
"It is unacceptable for these long queue times to recur on a monthly basis."
what do you think?
But queuing is our national pastime!
Another U Turn and mess-up from Mrs May then. When these checks were cancelled and the head of boarder control was forced to resigned we were told they allowed anyone in to the country, now they are saying the same checks increased fire arm detection by 100 percent and arrests by 10 percent. PCS need to take care, as will this effect the new jobs the government promised to call of the strike yesterday?
PCS will live to regret yesterdays decision. I mean would you buy a used car off any of the poshboy/girl gobsmiths making promises in government or opposition right now ?
one good change would be to stop being so incompetent and do the job you wasters are paid to do .
cut benefits and you cut the need for border controls ,its that simple
yeah simple as that bazil eh. stop benefits and everthing in the garden will be rosy.you really are that stupid i though it was an act on your part
Michael, I think you maybe taking his posting all wrong, and the way it seems to me is this:- I think that Bazil means "Cut the benefits to illegal immigrants, stop letting immigrants use the NHS for free, stop Eastern Europeans claiming for their children, parents and other dependants back home, prevent the immigrants from claiming housing benefits before our own citizens." As Bazil says "cut benefits and you cut the need for border controls"
peter how about just stopping them from coming into the country rounding up the thousands of immigrants that are here illegally and deporting them.throwing out any immigrant that commits a crime. you see peter ime all for stopping benefits for immigrants but what about the many thousands that are in the country not claiming but infact moonlighting. we need radical new laws bringing in to enable us to deal with all these issues. where can you see them coming from
Great idea, Michael - if only. They can't be deported - all they need to do is own a cat and it would cause them stress if they were threatened with deportation and had to be without their pet. The Human Rights Act is wonderful. Step 1 - get rid of the Human Rights Act.
Peter and Michael - be British and seek compromise. If an illegal claims his or her human rights are being threatened because of a pet cat, send the cat with them (and their human dependents as well, of course).
yet another tory idea doomed to failure ( that is if it ever gets past the idea stage ) we already have illegals waltzing in any time they feel like it, children unacompanied jumping on any plane they feel like. so tell me how is this a good idea
Political correctness must be dropped and individuals targeted. If the police heard that a bank robber was using a BMW getaway car - they wouldn't stop Jaguars as well! Also, illegals and anhyone without a right to be here should be barred at the port or airport and deported automatically.
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its time the government started listening to the people who matter. the people who have had enough of foreigners coming into the country claiming benefits, putting a strain on our housing, schools, hospitals. taking jobs. its never ending. enough is enough. we have to look after our own