It’s clear that some of our security systems are not working cost effectively. Here we explore how polygraph tests at airports would be more efficient.
Airports are on high alert, not only in the UK but all over the world. The cost to the Aviation Authority and taxpayer is phenomenal when you consider the police used to protect airports. Our very hard working customs officers and airport security staff work tirelessly checking bags and people. There are two main reasons we need all of this protection – terrorism and keeping our citizens safe from the numerous drugs flooding into the country. Not just ours, but countries all over the world. The majority of drugs brought into the country are flown in, either concealed in baggage or actually within a person.
Firstly, we’ll take a look at the current process and see how polygraph tests at airports could help keep our costs down.
Initially, a person will get off a plane and go through passport control. Often this part isn’t an issue for this person, as anyone could be desperate enough to take drugs into another country depending on their situation. This person may never have been in trouble in their life, so passport control is a walk in the park. This person to our security staff may look like they’re just visiting or even be from the country they’ve just entered. However, airport personnel undergo intensive training to detect such people and suspicions will be raised depending on the way the person is acting or even something they’ve said.
When apprehended, the traveller goes to Customs. They may be acting abnormally or their luggage is suspect. A bag may have been searched and then referred to Customs. There may be suspicion of drugs when a drug testing kit has been used. This entails taking a small swab from the bag or case and running it through a machine to test for drugs. The machine will show a positive or negative result. If the result is negative you may or may not be able to leave freely. However, if they’re still suspicious then you will need to go through the same process as if it was a positive result.
Now, some people use drugs recreationally and are not smuggling them into the country. There could be a small amount of residue on clothes, shoes or other items inside or on the bag. The drug testing kit will pick up any drug, no matter how small the amount. If the test is positive then no amount of pleading will stop the next stage. This is where the costs start to mount up and the point where polygraph tests at airports could help.
Takeaways and a free bed for a few nights
With a positive result the police can then strip search the suspect, something that wouldn’t be necessary if a lie detector test had been administered at the stage of the drugs testing kit. If nothing is found, the suspect can be asked to consent to an x-ray. Should the person detained refuse (or the police aren’t satisfied with the x-ray result) they will be held in custody until such time as they’ve emptied their bowels to ensure anything concealed has been disposed of.
If nothing is produced, you’re free to go. By this time a huge amount of money has been expended for no reason. During the period the detainee is held in a police station or sometimes even a hotel, they are fed often on takeaways and anything else the police feel will help with the process – again all at great expense. This isn’t a quick process and could mean detention for a number of days.
Polygraph tests at airports
Why not ask suspects to take a lie detector test at the point of a positive drug test result, or even when suspicion has arisen. A couple of simple questions could save a staggering amount of time and money. This would weed out the smugglers from the people that maybe had too much of a good time in Amsterdam. Polygraph tests at airports could easily be integrated into our airport security procedures, helping to keep the UK’s children and streets safe. Can we afford not to?
We invite the Aviation Authority to contact us for a free, in depth conversation about the introduction of polygraph tests at airports.