Heathrow to use inexperienced border staff during Olympics
Inexperienced border staff who have only received basic training have been recruited for the arrivals hall at Heathrow Airport to help alleviate queues during the Olympics.
The staff lack necessary training and confidence needed for dealing with the congestion that will build up during the Olympics, according to a recent report into the border security checks at Heathrow Terminal 3 and 4.
Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, John Vine, who published the report said some staff “remained concerned about the potential risks of employing staff on the immigration control who had received only basic training and who had no immigration background/experience”.
He further stated: “Staff also expressed concerns about similar problems recurring after the Olympics, if resources were not sufficient to meet the increasing passenger flows coming through Heathrow.”
Vine expressed concerns that forgery equipment was far more apparent in Terminal 4 than in Terminal 3, and some staff explained that this was “partly the result of faulty forgery detection equipment at some of the desks”.
However, Vine acknowledges that this could be due to the different types of passenger traffic at each terminal.
The report also found that Heathrow Airport plans to deal with the Olympics by re-employing former immigration staff who had left the business, or who may be working elsewhere within the Border Force, the UK Border Agency or the Home Office.
A Border Force spokeswoman said: “John Vine acknowledges the positive addition of hundreds of extra staff deployed to meet demand, the creation of a central control room to manage resources and on-going recruitment of more border officers.”
Line Elise Svanevik