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Man searched at airport on suspicion of paedophilia ‘because he had a camera and a boyfriend’

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  1. Disgusting and disgraceful.

    What has happened to the personnel involved.

    If this happened last year, then surely the UKBA are in a position to act, already – hence why they should make a more clear response to PN requests.

    Failure to act would demonstrate that UKBA do not care about homophobia, breaches of the equality act, human dignity or integrity.

    Security would not be dimished by acting appropriately and with integrity and sensitivity.

    1. *** – security would not be diminished …

      1. Oops, I didn’t notice that either when I quoted it! See below. :)

    2. “Security would not be dimished by acting appropriately and with integrity and sensitivity.”

      @Stu – I agree. This is a nasty breach of dignity – and quite avoidable.

  2. This is exactly why I despise airports. Also men carrying guns scare me and induce panic attacks.

  3. That’s beyond the pale.
    So basically if you’re overtly gay and carry a camera you’re immediately profiled as a potential child molester?
    I would imagine most gay people take a camera with them on holiday along with 99.9% of the population.
    The HIV comments are disgusting and vindictive too.
    I’m astonished British Border control officers aren’t trained in advance not to use personal prejudices to profile passengers.
    Those responsible should be sacked as they evidently can’t be trusted not to bring their repellant homophobic prejudices into the workplace.

    1. Rhoderick Gates 18 Jun 2012, 1:25pm

      How do you know they’re not “trained in advance not to use personal prejudices to profile passengers”? He could have just ignored his training.

      1. Fair comment, though usually included with that kind of training is the understanding that ignoring it is a disciplinary offence.

    2. I’m so screwed, since I have a pride patch on my jacket sleeve and routinely travel with about a grands worth of photography equipment….

  4. Kay from NZ 18 Jun 2012, 11:06am

    All staff should get at least basic training in passenger rights as well as staff rights, and maybe a few lessons about manners? Every official who acted in this way should get a warning and extra training. Three repeat offences should justify dismissal. Not only does this breach passengers’ rights including the right to nondiscriminatory treatment, but it is also bad for business.

    1. David Waite 18 Jun 2012, 10:54pm

      Kay from NZ said, “Every official who acted in this way should get a warning and extra training. Three repeat offences should justify dismissal.”

      May I suggest instead that after the warning and mandatory retraining for the first such offence, one repeat offence (definitely not three) should justify dismissal.

  5. I would like to think that if this happened to me I would demand to see the supervisor and make a hell of a fuss. In reality, our laws mean that these people can get away with virtually anything and it might mean a trip to Guantanamo bay, rather than simply missing your flight.

  6. Jock S. Trap 18 Jun 2012, 11:20am

    This is completely unacceptable.

    How disgusting that this bigot felt the need to label anyone is such horrific terms just by sight and the fact this individual was Gay and with a partner.

    The HIV part was also completely unacceptable and totally unnecessary.

    I accept the border controls have to be used but at what cost and does it have to be done in such a disgraceful way.

    The people responsible need to be educated before being allowed to continue with this job which I think needs, clearly, to be reviewed on how to treat people.

    Shameful.

    1. Also disturbing is that they ignored repeated requests for the luggage search to be done in private, showing a complete lack of respect for the individual’s in question.

      1. Jock S. Trap 18 Jun 2012, 4:49pm

        Exactly. It yet again shows us that some bigots still treat us with disrespect as human beings and clearly that we are worth bothering with, nor respectful of privacy when requested.

        More than just shameful name calling needs to be addressed.

  7. How you can justify stopping anyone and then claim that you are trying to stop a peadophile is beyond me. Peadophiles come in all shapes and sizes and statistically speaking, are more like to be a man accompanied by a woman.

    I was very annoyed when this story was doing the rounds on twitter at the end of last week and the UKBA should conduct a full investigation and a complete and comprehensive retraining exercise of its staff.

    I hope that the man who was stopped may have the courage to come to PN and relay details of his encounter as I feel that it would be in the public interest to show how he has been victimised purely on the grounds of his sexuality.

    1. Miguel Sanchez 18 Jun 2012, 2:25pm

      Havn’t they figured out that 90+% of molesters and pedos are STRAIGHT? The better start checking the cameras of a guy and a girl.

      I’d hate to think what would have happened if that couple had adopted a child and he was accompanying them on holiday.

      1. Exactly, that was the point that I was trying to make

  8. I and my partner will be travelling via Gatwick in September. Think I’ll have to hang a whole load of cameras around my neck ;)

  9. 3 or 4 years ago my other half and I were taking his 10 year old son on holiday to France.

    At the Port of Dover, we were stopped and when the passport control officer saw the three of us in the car directed us off to one of the sheds for questioning.

    As a former employee of the Port of Dover, I know these sheds are mainly for vehicle checks so I was not concerned. However no search was made of the vehicle and instead my other halves son was taken away by two police officers for questioning (and was pretty damn terrified too!) and we were asked our relationship to each other and the boy to much to the amusement of the officers involved.

    It was only upon confirmation from the boys mother of this relationship that the police apologised for the intrusive questioning and let us on our way just in time to catch our ferry.

    I remain convinced that this was done for a similar reason to the one in this story and suspect its an all too common occurrence.

    1. Spanner1960 18 Jun 2012, 3:12pm

      Where I can fully understand and sympathise your fears, seeing two men with a young boy would also ring alarm bells to me. The fact you were gay, is additional to that.

      Unfortunately, had this not been flagged and you had been child abusers, there would have probably been an outcry as to why you were not stopped.

      It’s a terrible reflection on society, but I’m afraid its one we all have to suffer.

      1. If you think two men with a child “rings alarm bells” then I feel terribly sorry for you. It’s not a terrible reflection on society, it’s a terrible reflection on your views of others.

        When I see people with kids it’s more how they interact with the children that causes me concern, not the gender(s) of the adult(s).

        1. Jock S. Trap 18 Jun 2012, 4:58pm

          Exactly. I went through the weird stares and gossip with raising my son but thankfully not through the nasty accusation stage. My son was always very happy to show off the fact he had 2 Dads, from a very young age til… well recently when I lost my partner.

          People shouldn’t make those kinds of accusations and seriously it’s people like Spanner who create a nasty culture of mistrust by believing everything they read in the Daily Mail. It’s damaging and it’s unfair.

          1. Rachel Haytread 18 Jun 2012, 10:19pm

            So you’re a Dad?

            After having read so many of your sensible and compassionate comments on this site, I bet that you are one helluva Dad and I’m sure your son is proud of you. I wish all of you every happiness.

            Love Rachel x

          2. I think Jock S Trap is highly likely to be a great dad and have a son he will be very proud of.

            I agree with much more of Jock’s comments than I disagree with – but generally when I disagree he has a well thought out reasoning behind his views.

            Usually we respect each other and agree or disagree.

            What he has said of his son – shows that he is proud of him and has a real warmth about it.

      2. Two men and a child raises alarm bells, why!?!?!

        Are you perhaps subscribing to the false notion that gay men are abusers – its categorically not a link.

        If you do not subscribe to the bogus theory that children are at risk amongst LGBT people – why would you find two men and a child to be the cause of concern????

      3. Jock S. Trap 18 Jun 2012, 4:52pm

        “The fact you were gay, is additional to that.”

        Are you for real? My God man please do slide yaself out from the timewarped 1950’s era!

        1. steffi lee 18 Jun 2012, 6:12pm

          I do not believe any child in the company of any adult or combination of adults, male or female should be allowed to leave the country until the relationship of the child to the adults has been established and found to be innocent.
          There have been quite large numbers of cases where one parent has taken a child abroad in defiance of a court order awarding custody to the other parent.
          While the trafficking of children for sexual purposes is unfortunately mostly inward to UK rather than outward nevertheless it could happen, better a thousand disgruntled parents than one stolen child.

          1. Thats a little different from presuming there is something inherently wrong with a child being with two men!

          2. Ben Foster 18 Jun 2012, 8:18pm

            That’s what passports are for.

      4. Spanner1960 19 Jun 2012, 9:14pm

        As usual, knee jerk emotional, selfish reactions to real-world scenarios.
        Wake up FFS.

        1. You condemn others with the words knee jerk reaction when you seem to condone the behaviour of these border guards by stating that seeing two men with a young boy would also ring alarm bells to me. Now, if anything is knee jerk – it is the assumption that a child with two men is a concern.

          1. Spanner1960 20 Jun 2012, 10:24am

            Oh come on Stu: There have to be certain pointers and indicators that these people need to identify in order to do their jobs.
            Believe it or not, burglars for instance, don’t go around in stripy jumpers and eyemasks with a big bag marked “SWAG” written on it.

            Like I said, their attitude and approach was appalling, but nonetheless if they think something looks untoward, they need to check it out. It seems these people are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.

          2. Oh I agree – having arrested a number of burglars I am aware that your charaicature is not accurate.

            Thats why professional people use more sophisiticated tools and analysis to determine risk factors etc (or should do!)

            In the same way the false charicature that two men with a child is enough to consider a risk issue to that child – or that two men and a child with a camera shouts out paedophile is false and wrong.

            I am surprised at you believing such simplistic and wrong stereotyping.

            I am more surprised that you think one type of charicature is false (eg burglar) but charicatures of two men being together with a child being a risk to that child is an appropriate tool to use.

          3. Spanner1960 20 Jun 2012, 2:13pm

            Stu:
            So what would you consider an acceptable indicator to show potential paedophiles?
            We have already heard from others about photographing children. Even parents have been nabbed for taking pics of their own kids on the beach.

            The trouble is, like I said, if they skip these issues to avoid upsetting people, the likelihood is that the real perpetrators would slip through. It is a very complicated thing to try and get the correct balance.

          4. In terms of suspecting child abuse or involvement of paedophilia where a child is seen with an adult, I would consider the following reasonable indicators to raise the index of suspicion of law enforcement agencies and their staff:

            Intelligence on child abuse, Demeanour of a child with any adult (not specifically with 2 males), Body language between an adult and a child, Inappropriate touching by an adult, Inappropriate language from an adult, consideration of data on passenger watch lists, covert behavioural screening etc

            NOT an assumption that two men and a child with a camera means paedophile.

            Even if two men and a child warrant further concern for other indicators – then it should be done in a manner to protect human dignity.

  10. Give an under-educated Daily Mail reader a uniform and this is what you get.

    Having known one or two of these apes (I used to work at LGW) they are also astoundingly racist.

  11. Such an accusation could only come from a man who was (and is) a pedophile. The officer himself should be psychiatrically examined.

    1. Not necessarily… projection and bigotry aren’t always mutually inclusive terms.
      Some bigots are simply brought up in a bigoted environment or get their worldview from bigoted news outlets.

    2. Rubbish. Next you’ll be saying misogynists are all secretly transgender.

      1. steffi lee 18 Jun 2012, 6:17pm

        Please get it right, transgender goes both ways FtoM and MtoF.Which ones are the misogynists?

        1. Well, in this context I’d have thought it was rather obvious I meant male-to-female.

          I was not commenting on transgender persons but on the absurdity of assuming that people are bigoted solely because they’re trying to hide an aspect of their own nature.

  12. That There Other David 18 Jun 2012, 11:54am

    Utterly unacceptable yet unsurprising. Many UKBA staff believe they are above the law. The entire agency is unfit for purpose.

    Get the Games out of the way then put Pickles in charge of it. He’s an obnoxious swine, but he’ll give them the kick up the backside they collectively need.

  13. In the case of the gay couple who were detained and dealt with in an odious manner as detailed in this article, the HM Inspectors report on Gatwick also states:
    “Notebook records of this exchange were not kept”. The inspector in his commentary on this incident described it as” inappropriate and unprofessional.”

    Surely, this is an understatement. Compare this to other parts of the report which reveal a casual attitude to people bringing in cannabis and other narcotics and a lack of consistency over allowing people with excess cigarettes and alcohol to bring it into the country. And aircraft are rarely searched – despite one being discovered with cocaine hidden in its panels. Consider also the admissions by staff that they detain white people longer than necessary if they wish to question a black person “to make it appear we are not being racist”. Consider also, badly trained and unsupervised staff appear to be singling out Afro Caribbean women for unjustified strip searches.

    1. While government ministers, pop stars and airline staff are being allowed to leave and enter the country completely unchecked. through the VIP Sussex Suite, putting border security at some risk, the cavalier way staff have treated the general public defies belief.

      Frankly this is not all that is wrong. It is time the Government got a grip of what looks like a disgraceful racist and homophobic situation at Gatwick before lots of other people are treated like this – apart from the VIPs of course who are NOT subject to such treatment.

      There is also evidence of similar problems in a more recent inspection of Heathrow Terminal Three. The report says: “Person searches were not considered to be justified and proportionate in 31 of the 46 (67%) cases that we reviewed…The finding that unjustifiable strip searches may be taking place at Terminal 3 replicates our inspection findings from Gatwick North. This indicates that this problem is not isolated to one terminal and as a result we

    2. believe that Border Force needs to take action to address this issue promptly.”

      Its arguable that this is institutional racism and homophobia in the UKBA.

      There certainly have been strong allegations of homophobia and racism against UKBA teams deporting people back to their home country – and now in airport security – it suggests the organisation needs a huge overhaul and major government examination.

      Theresa May needs to act with urgency.

      1. Spanner1960 18 Jun 2012, 3:18pm

        I think the major problem here is not one of staffing, but of training and monitoring. I doubt these people knew the full procedures as they are undermanned and underpaid as it is.

        Much that this article is damning and it is totally unacceptable how these people were treated, it worries me me that even more serious breaches of security are being allowed to happen due to the inadequacies of the UKBA staff. If they don’t know how to handle these situations, what else don’t they know?

        1. I certainly agree there appears to be a significant issue with regards training and of monitoring. I also wonder if its also a question of recruitment techniques too. All the best training in the world can not rid a person of prejudices, if they choose to ignore guidance and training. Professional people may retain their inherent (and often wrong) prejudices but are able to not behave in a manner that is not regarded as right in the workplace. It seems that may not be the case in some of the concerns at Gatwick both in terms of homophobia and race. If these individuals did not know their full range of responsibilities etc then it is a combined failure of them as individuals (not to ask for help), their management (to fail to recognise the problems and address it), strategic management (for failing to tackle concerns) and arguably government in acquiescence of effective and proper controls that maintain human dignity.

          It is a damning report by the Inspector of Borders – partly

        2. because of the discrimination issues that have been highlighted here, partly because of other discrimination issues in terms of race (including staff admitting stopping white people unnecessarily!), partly because of lax security on VIP transit, partly because of inconsistency on enforcement of drugs controls etc and partly because of lack of consistency on border stops and checks.

          All in all, its a service in an incredible mess. Much of that is government responsbility. However, in some matters such as unjustifiable discriminatory practice or failing to protect human dignity is a responsibility of the individual officers and their managers.

          All of this needs resolving – both the issues of conduct, and the strategic issues that raise either concerns of insitutional homophobia/racism and the concerns about border security and integrity that are raised in the report.

        3. Jock S. Trap 18 Jun 2012, 5:02pm

          Whilst you may find some kind of acceptable excuse in training and monitoring through to undermanned and underpaid, I don’t. There is no excuse to be so cruel and nasty to people like this. Personally I think it says more about the person own personality that they should feel the need to put down someone just on sight.

          It says more about them…. and you to make excuses for them.

          1. There is no excuse – but training and monitoring in addition to the other issues raised in this report need addressing.

            Not for one moment do I attempt to justify the conduct disclosed though.

    3. I saw the language as professional jargon. I don’t recall a single official report where more accurate but emotive terms are used. They always try and stick to largely emotionless, dispassionate terms to avoid appearing involved and thus biased. To use more emotive language could risk undermining the whole report, even if it’s use is justified.

      That aside, I agree that the UKBA needs a massive overhaul, the whole institution is corrupt.

  14. auntie babs 18 Jun 2012, 12:18pm

    The officer then commented to another officer that the passenger was HIV positive; the colleague then advised that the searching officer should use stronger hand gel. These comments were made within earshot of the passenger and indeed other passengers in the channel.

    and there the searcher actually committed a criminal offence. A persons HIV status is sensitive data and should not be revelaed to third parties without the patients express consent.

    1. I suspect they did not know the HIV status of the individual and merely guessed it.

      I am not sure a criminal offence would be made out from guessing – but a disciplinary offence is. Its remarkable that UKBA do not wish to comment on disciplinary action being taken despite this being months ago.

      Its tantamount to endorsing homophobia and unprofessional conduct that fails to acknowledge human dignity.

      UKBA should be ashamed both of their staff’s conduct (witnessed by an independent inspector) and of their weak and ignorant media comment.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 18 Jun 2012, 12:35pm

        Regarding the HIV status, they would only know about that if they found medication and were aware of which ones are used for treating the disease, but then many homophobes view all of us as having HIV as if heterosexuals never contract it. In their minds, gay equals HIV/AIDS and paedophilia. Just look at the vile comments from the religious nutters and recently that awful bigot, Dr. Lisa Nolland of Anglican Mainstream, comments that are perpetuated among the religious right wingers with impunity, anything to denigrate and deny us equality.

        1. I suspect they didnt even have the information of medication.

          If they assumped man with boyfriend and cameria is a paedophile, its similar logic that assumes gay man has HIV!

          1. Robert in S. Kensington 18 Jun 2012, 1:46pm

            Probably right. Stu. Unless one of the two or both were overtly gay perhaps. It does make one wonder, would it imply two men of any age travelling together would be construed as being gay in their distorted minds? I wonder how they’d react to an adult male travelling with a much younger male, maybe a child. I’d love to see them do the same to a hetero father and son and see where it goes. Either way, it’s vile and disgusting and an assault on personal freedoms. Those responsible should be sacked and made an example of. I don’t even think sensitivity training would be of much help, homophobes are homophobes and this is clearly what it was about I think.

      2. steffi lee 18 Jun 2012, 6:29pm

        The article states that the officer did a background check and then made the comments about HIV. If he obtained the HIV info. during this check then he gained it professionally and is barred from passing it on, even to his colleague unless he needed to know as part of his job, and certainly he should not broadcast it to all and sundry as he did.

        1. If he obtained the information professionally (from where? – I am not sure UKBA have access to either medical information or local police databases) then there is clearly a breach of confidentiality and a distinct lack of professionalism.

          If, he checked other details and(as I suspect) made an assumption about HIV (given his assumptions that two men together with a camera were paedophiles – its not unreasonable to suspect he would jump to other wrong conclusions!) then he lacked professionalism.

          In both scenarios, he failed to protect the dignity of the people he was dealing with.

          He should be formally disciplined.

          1. David Waite 18 Jun 2012, 11:28pm

            Formally disciplined? Surely you jest. How about formally charged, because if this is so:
            “I suspect they did not know the HIV status of the individual…”
            One should reasonably assume their intent was to stir up hatred, a criminal offence. At the very least they should be charged with slander. Note that truth (whether obtained legitimately or otherwise) is not a defence against a charge of slander against a private individual if the intent was clearly malicious.

          2. David

            Slander is a civil not a criminal matter.

            As for hate crime – I doubt it would be proven. Its arguable and I would support anyone who felt there was a case progressing it – but I doubt it could be proved to criminal standards.

            Whereas, discipline matters could be proven on the balance of probabilities.

  15. Robert in S. Kensington 18 Jun 2012, 12:30pm

    So there we have it, gay equals paedophile, the mantra that the right wing religious nutters spew. Vile, disgusting treatment of a gay couple and they should pursue the issue. Would those cretins have treated two women travelling together with camera equipment on display i the same manner? Of course not. This is nothing more than blatant homophobia. I would call for the dismissal of the employees involved. This is beyond unacceptable.

  16. How would a customs official know someone was HIV positive unless the person told them?
    I worked at airports for over 30 years and know there would be no possibility of a customs or immigration official having accesss to such knowledge.

    1. Given how he treated a gay person – perhaps he assumed gay equals HIV positive?

      He assumed man with boyfriend and camera equals paedophile!

      Not unreasonable to suspect that he made a similar bogus assumption.

      Whatever, he needs disciplining!

      1. I wouldn’t be suprised if it was like that.

        It seems to me he needs first and foremost some proper education what being gay means and what it doesn’t mean. Jesus.

  17. ” ‘the presence of the camera and the fact he had a boyfriend confirmed this’ (no photos were examined).”

    What?I? Am I missing something?
    Being gay and carrying a camera = being a pedophile.

    Just wow… and this happened in the UK, allegedly the best place to be gay (..)

    1. (typo) paedophile

  18. Pure ignorance and discrimination. The idiots involved should be sacked on the spot.

  19. Janet Lameck 18 Jun 2012, 1:50pm

    I’d like to see him suspended WITH OUT pay pending investigation to remove him from the service.

  20. Yet again the UKBA has shown its total utter incompetence in carrying out these simple duties, and the remarks made by one of its Officers show’s their incompetence in carrying out their duty

  21. Peter Gregory 18 Jun 2012, 2:28pm

    Just ignorant thugs abusing their power, the same as 1936 to 45 in Germany.

  22. Peter Gregory 18 Jun 2012, 2:34pm

    Yes- I omitted the fact that 90% of child abusers are straight. But POWER means that they can abuse, even when thier agency is a TOTAL disaster and business people can’t get visas and the criminals go terminal to to Irish Republic, then to the north then to Stornoway, which has only 3% of personnel needed. then they rape, rob, get council houses and can’t be deported. People think that places like India re the most corrupt. Nope!

  23. Interesting to read the official response of UKBA

    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/workingwithus/chief-insp/ci-gatwicknorth-inspection

    “RECOMMENDATION 8: Investigates the extent of discriminatory practice in relation to detection operations and takes urgent action to address any inappropriate activity.
    8.1 Border Force accepts this recommendation.
    8.2 Detection officers were questioned about their specific reasons for stopping and questioning particular individuals. Although the team witnessed numerous professional and courteous interactions some answers revealed some highly inappropriate reasons used to justify passenger challenge based on prejudice and stereotypical views of individuals rather than evidenced based criteria as set out in the guidance.
    8.3 Border Force takes accusations of discriminatory practice very seriously and has procedures in place to deal with any complaints received of this nature.
    8.4 Border Force officers are trained to

    1. select passengers on the basis of intelligence profiles. These profiles help ensure passengers are only selected for examination on the basis of risk rather than their race or gender.
      8.5 We will investigate any evidence of potential discriminatory practice and, if any is identified, will act to stop such practice. We will implement refresher training and a robust assurance process.
      8.6 Target date of 31 May 2012 to have assurance in place.”

      Given that the target date has now passed – will UKBA state what actions have been taken?

      Does UKBA believe that retraining is the appropriate mechanism to deal with such a level of prejudice and discrimination as evidenced in the incident reported?

      Does UKBA have any mechanism to deal with what appears to be institutional racism and homophobia – or does it seek to pretend that the numerous incidents highlighted as isolated incidents? Even if they were, which seems unlikely given the report, what action is being taken?

  24. It is also unlawful to disclose another persons HIV status – especially in a public place – I suggest the passengers concerned Sue the Borders and Immigration team.

    Their right to privacy has been trampled over – it’s shameful.

    1. Spanner1960 18 Jun 2012, 3:14pm

      Are you sure? That’s a new one on me, but I hope that is the case.
      The treatment of that person was deplorable.

      1. It is unlawful to knowingly disclose medical information which you are confidentially aware of as a professional.

        However, I do not know whether they actually had such information – or made assumptions that a gay man must be HIV positive.

        Whichever, whether breaching confidence or whether making massive assumptions – both are wrong and need action by UKBA.

        1. Suddenly Last Bummer 18 Jun 2012, 8:46pm

          That’s the impression I got from reading the story; the security office making an assumption that because the man was gay he must therefore be HIV positive.

  25. Well I hope they got fired.

  26. Jim Fields Nashville tn 18 Jun 2012, 3:40pm

    so fire the idiot and the man and his partner should sue for all they can get . ..that security person was the worst kind of bigot .. a partner and a camera
    and then to have his privacy invaded in such a manner .. have them pay up

  27. This is a disgrace!! Both these officers should be dealt with. No amount of training will rid them of their biggited attitude!!

  28. burningworm 18 Jun 2012, 5:04pm

    This scenario and ones like it will continue because it has a certain usage in the minds of quasi officials and those who sign up to parade a uniform and unfurl a badge.

    …and it will take decades to lance out the poision that has been indoctrinated into the masses.

    I just don’t understand which planet we are on. This is is normal, our outrage to it is normal. Lets drop normal and gear told bold.

    Where are the militant queer thinkers?

    1. As someone who has worn several uniforms professionally, and who still does, I find your judgemental view and stereotyping of people who choose to serve the public as wrong and perpetuating a false steroetype.

      The actions of these border guards was wrong and most uniformed public servants would condemn it.

      1. Rachel Haytread 18 Jun 2012, 5:59pm

        Stu sweetheart,

        I bet you look scrummy in your Traffic Warden’s uniform.

        Love Rachel x

        PS. Do you know who’s nicked my avatar? Maybe, with your extensive Police training, you could investigate this.

        1. Childish attempts at humour which lack humour, belittle you.

          1. Rachel Haytread 18 Jun 2012, 9:00pm

            What else would you expect from someone as contemptible as me?

            Love Rachel (No kiss this time seeing as you’re are being so grumpy).

          2. Rachel

            You misunderstand me.

            I don’t think you are contemptible – just the organisation you seek to support so often!

            Hugs

            Stu

      2. burningworm 18 Jun 2012, 6:13pm

        Much like most of your messages, you miss the obvious.

        THOSE who sign up TO parade – not all. Is that clear enough or would you like another attempt?

        1. Much like most of your messages, your arrogance is visible and as colourful as the northern lights.

          1. Rachel Haytread 18 Jun 2012, 7:48pm

            Hey, Stu sweetheart,

            Is this directed at me or burning worm?

            As you have probably realised my advancing years bring with them creeping senility or is burningworm’s post as incomprehensible as I think.

            Love Rachel x

            PS. Sorry about my Traffic Warden jibe. How’s your new Security Guard job at Lidl working out?

          2. If that was an attempt to improve your humour, then you have failed – Rachel

            You continue to belittle yourself.

            The creeping senilty you admit to must be more advanced than you fear – if I was you I would seek out a good clinician to advise you. I do know a good many reputable ones – but since you choose to not recognise my professional capabilities, I would not presume to seek to change your happy fantasy island where you ignore the reality of others and decide for yourself what their roles are – regardless of fact. Last person I met in such a state required a padded room – so that clinical advice might be urgent sweetie.

            As for the arrogance – no it wasnt you on this occasion Rachel – but if you must wear a cap on your fantasy island – then you choose the one to wear!

          3. Rachel Haytread 18 Jun 2012, 9:16pm

            Stu, you grumpy devil,

            If I continue to belittle myself will I eventually disappear? Uncross your fingers immediately.

            What exactly is your professional standing which requires a uniform? This I ask in all seriousness. Is your occupation so grand and imperious that it cannot withstand a gentle ribbing?

            Rudeness and bad manners are inexcusable. It does not hurt to be polite or reply to others in a civil tone; this is something of which many on this should take heed and I am very surprised that you, too, should descend to this. You have set yourself up as the Grande Dame of this place and you should perhaps keep this in mind when making your pronouncements. You state I belittle myself. You disappoint me.

            Rachel.

          4. Rachel Haytread 18 Jun 2012, 9:22pm

            Stu,

            I forgot to ask this – you state that you have worn several uniforms in your professional life. Didn’t you find this rather warm?

            Rachel.

          5. Rachel

            Usually, I tend not to wear two uniforms at the same time!

            As for civil tone, if you did not like the response – then I apologise.

            However, I did not find what you deem to be “ribbing” to be polite or civil.

            My professional standing is a paramedic manager. Previously I have been a police officer.

            Stu x

          6. Rachel

            With the exception of one topic (which we both know what it is!) …

            How is it, even when you annoy me, you somehow manage to get me to smile a little later anyway.

            Stu x ;-)

  29. This is absolutely appalling. As though we needed any more reason to have it in for the lunatic bigots who work for the UKBA. It’s so embarrassing to be British when they are the first thing you experience about the country.

  30. Another Hannah 18 Jun 2012, 5:31pm

    Moy own experience of english customs is that they are awful, probably the worst in the country. They have probably allowed many criminals to go unimpeded because of their being phenominally thick and prejudiced and harassing LGBT people.

  31. Paul.Essex/London 18 Jun 2012, 5:53pm

    Ironic that the same right wingers that moan about the inefficiency of our Border Control are the ones that pedal the fallacy that gay men shouldn’t be trusted around children.

    And how has this effected the child? I only hope that the he was oblivious as the reasons for this going on.

  32. I feel right wing bigots should carry a card saying they are a right wing bigot.

    After all their bigotry is a choice.

    1. Rachel Haytread 18 Jun 2012, 8:50pm

      Stu sweetheart,

      you know how vehemently I oppose violence of any kind. However, there are occasions when I am tempted away from the path of peace. Aiden’s post is such an occasion. After reading it I wished I could give him a good kicking for being so horrible.

      Anyway ,I’ve had a tablet and feel much calmer. Besides, what with my arthritis, my days of giving people a good kicking are long past. Aah, the good old days Droogies.

      Love Rachel x

      PS. Is it technically possible to arrange so when your posts are clicked on a brief soundbite is played of Gang of Four singing ‘I Love A Man In A Uniform’?

      1. Rachel

        You make me smile – again – well done.

        Its for you to decide if that was in relation to the musical accompaniment suggestion, you calming, or the visions of Aiden getting a kicking (!)

        Hope the arthritis isn’t too bad today x

        1. Rachel Haytread 19 Jun 2012, 2:28pm

          Paramedics rock!

          Love Rachel x

  33. Those blockheads need more training. Totally unaccedptyable behaviour. What the heck is the point in flying anymore?. I trust that the blockhead also stopped heterosexxual couples and searched for paedophila because that is where the guilty parties really are. I sincerely hope that the gay couple took the blockhead ‘officer’ to court.

  34. My first trip to London was in 2010 (I am 46 years old). I was very excited about my trip, as I am constantly studying and enjoying all things British. When I reached the Customs Desk, the Inspector asked me some very personal questions, and since my voice is quite high for a gentleman), he was very hostile towards me. No welcome to London! Nothing nice to say at all, in fact he was quite rude.

    I enjoyed my trip regardless!

  35. You seem to know a lot about it

    1. As long as the boy is over 18, its legal! Get over it!
      Go back to reading your copy of Lolita!

      1. I meant this reply for Aiden, sorry!

  36. I’d like to suggest some sort of ID for you “Aiden” but how does one give ID to a person who is in fact not real?

  37. Also “Aiden”. Can you tell me what a cougar is a social term for?

  38. As long as the boy is over 18, its legal! Get over it!
    Go back to reading your copy of Lolita!

    1. Spanner1960 19 Jun 2012, 9:10pm

      16 where I live, actually.

  39. This story didn’t surprise me too much because of the recent case when a grandfather looking for child’s books for his grandchildren in the child’s section of a bookstore was ejected from the bookstore because they thought he was a pedophile. The moral panic of the 50s were Communists, the moral panic of the 80s were Satanistic cults and now pedophiles are the new moral panic. This is not just a case of homophobia, it’s a case of classic paranoia: everyone is a pedophile until proved wrong.

    Moral panics are fun to watch, seeing people acting like the narrator of Bob Dylan’s song “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues”. All I can say is that I can’t wait for when cyborgs and robots will be the new moral panic in the future.

  40. Suddenly Last Bummer 18 Jun 2012, 8:43pm

    Please please please tell me the guy who was stopped and searched is going to sue the ass off the security firm at Gatwick for public slander amongst other things. The security firm sound like total troglodytes.

    1. Rachel Haytread 18 Jun 2012, 8:53pm

      You have desecrated the title of one of my all-time favourite films you rotter!

      1. Rachel Haytread 18 Jun 2012, 9:36pm

        Whoever gave me a ‘thumbs down’ for the above comment please explain yourself. Unlike many posters on this site I am not going to pillory you or make rude and insulting comments about you, but seriously what did you find so objectionable about this one liner? I need to know…

        To the person who neutralised this by giving me a ‘thumbs up’, thank-you.

        Love, Rachel x

        Rachel.

        1. Personally I thumbed you back up Rachel – because you made me smile away to myself.

          As for the security firm, Suddenly Last Bummer – its not just a private security firm, its the government borders agency resonsible for customs, immigration and border control and protection. Scary

    2. We were delayed, not at an airport, but on a street corner near Trafalgar Square for over an hour by three police officers who accused us of taking to many photos of children.
      Our shoulder sack was searched, and over 100 photos deleted from our camera…the P word was never mentioned, but the female officer was furious with us.
      We have been partners for 55 years and coming to the UK quite often, but never again.
      Two old men on the way back to the hotel for an afternoon nap.

      1. Equally wrong – and in need of dealing with by the appropriate authorities.

      2. The problem here sounds more like the Met’s anti-photography campaign generally. They’re stopping many photographers (professionals, amateurs, tourists) from taking “too many” pics of anything. Buildings, streets, children, planes. No reason needs to be given – although something other than “we think you’re a paedophile” would be good.

        I guess the right to take photographs wasn’t explicit in the Magna Carta…

        1. Spanner1960 20 Jun 2012, 2:08pm

          They are not allowed to.
          If necessary, get arrested and then sue their arses off.

          1. As I understand it (and I suspect Spanner1960 will know this one better than me, but the only legally tight issue on prohibition of photographs is of buildings under the SOCA Act – but even then there needs to be some indiciation that the photographs are for improper purposes that could damage national security/

        2. Spanner1960 20 Jun 2012, 5:34pm

          SOCA is actually a badly scripted legislation,because it is open to a lot of interpretation, but there are NO restrictions on any photography in the UK on public land. Landowners can restrict it, and certain areas like Defence establishments, airports etc have controls, but anywhere else is open.

          1. Yeah, I know SOCA (or certainly the photography elements of it) can be interpreted in various ways – not sure if that was deliberate or bad drafting …

            I had forgotten about defense establishments and airports (which provided you are using relative common sense, shouldnt be an issue to most people!).

        3. Spanner1960 20 Jun 2012, 5:37pm

          Police DO NOT have the right to take equipment or destroy/delete media without a court order. Anybody that tells you otherwise is either ignorant of the law or is lying, and should the situation arise, it is actually better to get arrested and be interviewed back at the station than have your work destroyed on the street. It also allows liability and witness in a court, and the chance to demand recompense for loss of work, equipment and wrongful arrest.

          1. Not strictly true, Spanner1960.

            In msot cases you are right – and you are definitely correct about destruction or deletion of images or data (that can not be unilaterally done without either the owners consent or a court order).

            However, if the police have reasonable grounds to believe that the equipment contains evidence relating to an arrestable offence (whether committed by the person owning the equipment or not) then they can seize it under section 19 (3) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 – provided the police officer is legitimately in the premises where they wish to seize the item.

          2. The piece of legislation states:

            “The constable may seize anything which is on the premises if he has reasonable grounds for believing— .
            (a)that it is evidence in relation to an offence which he is investigating or any other offence; and .
            (b)that it is necessary to seize it in order to prevent the evidence being concealed, lost, altered or destroyed.”

  41. WTF are you talking about, you stupid man? I’m gay and over 40: I have no interest in boys or even young men – does that upset your sad little prejudices?

    Incidentally, what do you think of persons who claim to be not gay who spend much of their time on gay websites? Personally, I think they’re rather pitiable, but I’d be interested to know your opinion on the subject.

  42. Totally Disgraceful !
    How can such a thing like that happen now . How can such prejudice and homophobia can still have roots in the minds of some people —- where have they been living all the time? in caves !

  43. Liz Church 19 Jun 2012, 6:26pm

    I had an appalling experience at Gatwick three years ago. I wrote to them afterwards and after a couple of phone calls I received a letter telling me that they’d sorted things out so that no-one would have to go through it again.

    1. Sadly not it appears.

  44. floridahank 20 Jun 2012, 5:33pm

    While not knowing all the facts, I do agree that the security reaction was totally wrong.
    And while I don’t know the accepted proceedure, there is a serious situation of human trafficking – taking young children overseas for sex.
    So while I’m not pointing my finger at these 2 men accompanying a child, there
    is always a possibilty that a closer examination is warranted.

    1. Not simply because it was 2 men with a child – there would have to be more than that to legitimately raise concern.

      In this case – there was no legitimate concern.

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