LHR Border Force in Meltdown? or not?Back to Forum
We seem to have drifted a bit from LHR to Basel, but, Switzerland is a full member of Schengen, though not of the EU or EEA.
As a by the way, I was partly responsible for getting the UK authorities to allow Swiss (and then EEA) passport holders to use the EU lanes in the UK some years back. I could imagine after Brexit we will have our own “UK passport” lanes again?
Back to LHR, seeing the massive queue for the EU desks and the non EU empty, and getting past the lady dealing with the pre-passport selection, I went to the non EU desk where the officer looked at my passport and without a second look waved me on.24 Jun 2018
On the customs side, I think it’s fair to say our border force is non-existent. There is never an officer in sight in either the blue or green channel. I have been flying into LHR at least twice a month for the last 20 years and I have never once been stopped randomly. Never. On the rare occasion where I have seen others being searched, these people are never white (it’s an observation, nothing else). God only knows what is brought into this country when people know they can get away with it.28 Jun 2018
I agree with FCTraveller’s comments above. However, I am told that everyone going through is watched on CCTV from ‘behind the scenes’ and further, that customs officials in plain clothes mingle with people in the luggage retrieval area and outside. Whether this is true or not, I don’t know.
I do know that I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve been stopped by customs anywhere in the world in the last 20 years. In Europe (including UK) never. Arriving in South Africa and Saudi Arabia once each, and once possibly arriving in Iran at THR/IKA.28 Jun 2018
Yes and there are also some one way mirrors that I’ve noticed. There is probably some truth to all this although I fear the level of staffing is so low as to be totally ineffective. Their thinking is that if people thing we’re watching them from all over the place, that it will reduce smuggling. But I think the facts are obvious, you just never get stopped. If I compare with Canada, where I enter just as often as here, they randomly send people for a secondary search and it has happened to me a number of times. It’s a sad state of affairs if we can’t police our own borders.28 Jun 2018
God only knows what is brought into this country when people know they can get away with it.
Customs have a good idea what’s coming in…. besides the cameras, check out the scanners you invariably go through without even knowing it…
Sure stuff gets through, but one of the biggest giveaways are trained personnel looking for nervous businessmen/women, thinking… will they stop me this time… 🙂28 Jun 2018
I sometimes watch those ‘Border Force’ programmes and am always in admiration of how they seem to be able to pick out the guilty, but I do wonder how many get through.
It’s not the chap with an extra bottle of hooch or a carton of cigarettes over the limit that they’re after, or even a modestly priced watch or camera, it’s the big stuff and of course drugs.28 Jun 2018
Let’s be honest this government has cut everything to the bone, there is a lack of border staff as there is police and ambulance and hospital beds, I could go on…28 Jun 2018
What I’ve always found odd in the UK is how the immigration officers are disconnected from the customs officers. Compared to North America, or Canada at least, the immigration officer can flag you to be searched at customs based on the conversation he’s had with you by tagging your landing card with a special code and the customs officer will send you to be searched on exit.28 Jun 2018
A friend of mine who worked in Customs many years at one of the main UK airports said if your are over your duty free allowance before going thru customs remove any labels that may spark interest such as Fragile or heavy. Wheel the case with brag tags facing customs. If under 1000 smokes and caught be polite, fair cop guv and all that. They will take it as u are chancing your luck and for personal use so you will just get reminder and have to pay the duty or dispose. If coming in via another EU country in transit then use the EU lane. I am not advocating breaking customs and exercise law 😊29 Jun 2018
If under 1000 smokes and caught be polite, fair cop guv and all that. They will take it as u are chancing your luck and for personal use so you will just get reminder and have to pay the duty or dispose. If coming in via another EU country in transit then use the EU lane. I am not advocating breaking customs and exercise law 😊
I am sorry Steve, but I think you are talking about breaking the law and I think we should not do that on this forum.
I know you are quoting someone, but still I believe we should not do that.
I would not dream of smuggling even if I knew I would not be searched.29 Jun 2018