Secret airport bag searches

Illegal luggage searches could have been conducted by border officials at Birmingham Airport without the passengers' knowledge.

National

'Illegal' luggage searches at Birmingham Airport

Illegal luggage searches could have been conducted by border officials at one of Britain's busiest airports, without the passengers' knowledge.

Over 1,000 pieces of luggage were seized at Birmingham Airport in the year to September.

Illegal luggage searches could have been conducted by border officials at Birmingham Airport Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

However, Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine said there was no record of the instances in which these searches did not result in a successful seizure.

Because of this, there is no way of knowing the total number of searches conducted in the period, and whether border staff were breaching passengers' rights.

National

Border force have 'taken action' on recommendations

A report has found that border officials at Birmingham Airport could have been carrying out illegal bag searches, without the passengers' knowledge.

It said: "Despite the fact that the current Border Force enforcement handbook guidance prohibited this activity, staff confirmed they were carrying out covert baggage searches."

A Border Force spokesman said:

Searching baggage, including when the owner is not present, is a legal and proportionate response to this issue. Any such searches must be authorised by a senior officer.

We have already taken action on the recommendations the Chief Inspector made in his report.

Advertisement

Possible illegal luggage searches at Birmingham Airport

Illegal luggage searches could have been conducted by border officials at Birmingham Airport without the passengers' knowledge. Credit: Peer Grimm/DPA/Press Association Images

Illegal luggage searches could have been conducted by border officials at Birmingham Airport without the passengers' knowledge.

The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration says that although more than 1000 pieces of luggage were searched between January and September last year, there is no record of how many searches did not result in a seizure.

It is therefore impossible to check if border staff have breached passengers rights.