Monday, 13 October 2008

A terrorist outrage

I thought I knew myself pretty well but, coming home from work earlier, I discovered something I wasn't yet aware of.

I appear to be a terrorist snob.

I walked into Bradford Interchange to find a long queue of people in front of me.

At its head was a mobile body scanner thingy, like the ones you see at airports but a lot, lot cheaper. Wannabe commuters were then invited to walk through, one by one.

The officer apparently in charge of the operation looked like he'd just walked off the set of Police Academy. And on the other side of the scanner were two young females who seemed to be Police Community Support Officers - "hobby bobbies" to you and me.

Finally, behind them, were half a dozen or more plain-clothed gorillas, arms crossed, chewing gum and looking stupid (or "hard" in their view).

When it came to my turn, I walked through and the machine went "beep." This was not a surprise given the fact that, in my bag, I was carrying two mobile phones, a large set of keys, an umbrella, a digital radio and an iPod.

Rather than ask to search my bag, the reaction of either Cagney or Lacey was simply to look at my crotch and announce, "it's OK, you're wearing a belt. Go through."

I did go through and, when I reached the top of the steps where the trains are, I thought to myself, "hold on, I wonder if..."

I went to the side exit /entrance, right beside the platforms, and guess what. There were no police to be seen and the good commuters of Bradford were free to go as they pleased. Oh, and so too were prospective terrorists.

Having grown up in Northern Ireland, I have a fair idea what a proper, professional security/anti-terrorist operation looks like. This particular operation didn't look like it.

Perhaps these individuals would be better refraining from putting the fear of God up local commuters and instead spend their time catching criminals who stab people and rob old ladies. Or might that be less glamourous and too much like hard work?

Meanwhile, Jamie's just got a brand new pair of Nike trainers. Cool!

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