Heathrow counter-terrorism officers regularly put passengers with Arabic names on a security database to make it appear as though they had been busy, a tribunal was told.
Former Det Con Kevin Maxwell said Metropolitan Police detectives would routinely sift through landing cards of foreign nationals and randomly type their details into a police database, without ever seeing the passengers.
The former officer, who is black and homosexual, was giving evidence at an employment tribunal, where he is suing the force for homophobic attitudes and racial discrimination. The case is expected to last six weeks.
He said colleagues working with him in the counter-terrorism unit at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 would take the landing cards, filled in by visitors, from an unmanned Border Agency desk. They copied the details into the police’s database. It was claimed that the practice was widespread throughout the counter terrorism unit at Heathrow, to keep up the Metropolitan Police stop figures…
He said counter-terrorism officers would target black and Asian people for random stops in a queue at the airport.
To avoid being seen as racist another officer would also talk to a white person directly in front of them. However, the white person’s details would not be entered into the police database, Det Con Maxwell said.
Cripes, I hope this tale hasn’t made it to TSA here in the States. All they need is a suggestion for yet another way to game the system.