Monday 23 April 2018

Military drafted in to cut Britain's airport queues

Martin Beckford in London

HUNDREDS of military police officers have been drafted in to cut queues at Britain's airports by helping to man the passport desks.

Members of the Ministry of Defence's civilian force were posted to more than a dozen arrivals halls across the country over the past year, official figures show.

On one day alone, almost 100 uniformed MoD police officers were on duty after as three days of training.

It is believed this was to provide cover during a strike by UK Border Agency staff.

Hundreds more are expected to be brought in to Heathrow and Gatwick to cope with the added demand and security risks created by the Olympics.

Passengers are already waiting for almost two-and-a-half hours to get through passport checks, in queues more than half a mile long.

Yvette Cooper, UK shadow home secretary, said it was "shocking" that queues were again far exceeding the target of 25 minutes waiting for European passengers and 45 minutes for non-EU.

The military police officers have also been posted to Manchester, Liverpool, Doncaster, Glasgow, Newcastle, Southend, Bristol, Stansted, Southampton, Leeds/ Bradford, Luton, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Birmingham and Bournemouth. (© The Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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