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Portsmouth “security”

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Back home, I seem to have opened a can of worms! I appreciate that there is a lot of behind the scenes security going on and that checks will be random. Our experience in the past has been that you get pulled in if there is a space in the shed when it is your turn to go through and then it was reassuring. The car was quickly but efficiently checked, interior, boot, bonnet and I seem to remember, mirror underneath. That felt like they were doing the job properly.  What we cannot get over this time is the attitude. It was if we were part of a kiddies tea party, everything seem to be something of a joke to the operatives. We are still wondering what was in our friend's trousers that was such a danger to MSM! Compare that to the return at Ouistreham. Much more low key but although the high vis jackets had "Douane" printed on the back they looked as if they had been trained by the French equivalent of the SAS. Much more reassuring.

What has not been mentioned above is that I assume that part of our ticket price includes an element for security. However much it is, we do not feel we have had value for money.

 

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I assume they have done risk assessments, taken advice from Police, MIwhatever and so on.  Perhaps they think the risk of stuff being smuggled out of the UK via a ferry is low, in which case why employ an expensive operation of your best people?

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4 minutes ago, auchmill said:

I assume they have done risk assessments, taken advice from Police, MIwhatever and so on.  Perhaps they think the risk of stuff being smuggled out of the UK via a ferry is low, in which case why employ an expensive operation of your best people?

When last we were checked, in our motorhome at Portsmouth, the engine compartment, under bed area and bathroom were all opened. Clearly the searcher was looking for stowaways.  We said we were surprised that anyone would choose to stow away on the Portsmouth to Caen route but were told that “a large number of people want to leave to join terrorist organisations abroad.”.  

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You should not really blame the staff for this, these services are put out to private tender and getting the contract after that is based on how low the price is not how well you can do the job.

I work in the security industry and I've seen from the frontline. 

If you will not pay realistic rates for staff, fund their training properly and look after them.

Then  you get what you pay for, staff who are shirt fillers and non existent security.

The companies of course make a million, look at G4S and the Olympics, they coined in a huge pile and didn't even end up doing the job.

Rhys

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Lets face up to it,they are paid a very low wage and when you think they do a fair job.yet should it be portsmouth paying for it.to me with the world in a state it is security anywhere in the uk should better than first class and that includes Portsmouth.it is time we got our heads out of the sand and start shouting security is not good enought at these ports and the state should be providing proper security,even if costs the people using the ferries .i for one would not mind if it helps to safeguard everyone's life.this applies to people arriving at our ports ,which lets face it a complete shambles long tail backs not because cars are getting checked but due to lack of manpower.more security just maybe will foil one attack and every penny spent would be worthwhile .there is no other way if we want strong security the cost has to come from somewhere has it not.just to mention Spain police all over the place and France the same and with this I feel a lot safer.end my gripe now.

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I think the idea of locking down ports or the UK generally is utterly terrifying. It plays into the idea of making people fearful that suits some politicians, some in the media and definitely suits the security industrial complex. And, yes, creating fear also suits the agendas of those who would seek to do us harm.

The threat level, contrary to the silly signs we see around, is low and I don't find anything reassuring in pointless, untargetted sampling of people at ferry ports. It puzzles me that the sight of this really make people feel "safe", and I wonder what it is - and why - they were afraid of in the first place.

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As a comparison, I've just run security for a small festival and had people working for 15 pounds an hour with their food included.

Last time I checked port security locally were on in the region of 8 pounds an hour, they have terrible trouble recruiting staff as the hours are long and pretty anti social.

Added to that, a few years back the dole would fund training for door supervision and guarding licenses. Now, these were people who had very little choice over attending the course and would then be shoved in the general direction of whatever work was going.

This is probably where a lot of Portsmouths unemployed are shoved, because the proper security work on doors and clubs simply would not employ them, for their own safety as much as anything!! 

Not sure what scanner they have in Portsmouth now but when I came through there last it was one of our old ones from the Olympics.

 

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Not try to scare anyone,but it is the world we live in at the present time.these nutters are trying everything to beat the security measures in place.so they will be looking at soft targets with maximum news effect.i don't want people to be terrified of travelling on any mode of transport.to me seeing large numbers of propley trained people on duty and looking the part would not put me off .in fact I would feel a lot safer.

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You might feel more secure with these precautions - I don't.  Sadly minimally trained personnel in some cases, not Portsmouth, who have little English 'going through the motions' dies not make me feel any more secure at all. If you want to see how we got where we are google 'new public management' - yes it's 'Tina' who's got us to a point where the public service is a laughing stock. It behaves in the way it thinks private business does without of course understanding business at all. 

Current travel security is a farce designed to comfort the gullible and infuriate the innocent.

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19 hours ago, Millsy said:

You might feel more secure with these precautions - I don't.  Sadly minimally trained personnel in some cases, not Portsmouth, who have little English 'going through the motions' dies not make me feel any more secure at all. If you want to see how we got where we are google 'new public management' - yes it's 'Tina' who's got us to a point where the public service is a laughing stock. It behaves in the way it thinks private business does without of course understanding business at all. 

Current travel security is a farce designed to comfort the gullible and infuriate the innocent.

Eh.?come on you must be joking,it is in on the TVs and newspapers all of the times about lack of border controls checks and patrols.iam a bit confused here are you saying security is not what we want .if this is the case why is everyone shouting for extra police and border control staff.cannot see what people have against properly trained staff on patrol at ports etc..have we forgot already about the terror attacks all over the world.if you only to pop over the channel and you will security that is done in a proper manner and to me a many others I have spoke to thinks it should be like this coming into and leaving our ports.just my opinion.

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There is all the difference in the world between doing a job properly and the cheap and cheerful antics we have now. I said they don't make me feel any more secure and they darned well don't. I am not talking about border controls I am talking about 'security'.

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When travelling to and from Morocco via Ceuta almost invariably your vehicle steering wheel and door handles are scanned for explosives or drugs. Nowhere else on the vehicle is checked. The logical conclusion is that if you are smuggling either of these items get your passenger to handle them and make sure, having done so, they don’t touch either door handles or steering wheel. It wouldn’t be sensible to ask the checkers about this but I do wonder.

 

 

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3 hours ago, nodwad said:

Eh.?come on you must be joking,it is in on the TVs and newspapers all of the times about lack of border controls checks and patrols.iam a bit confused here are you saying security is not what we want .if this is the case why is everyone shouting for extra police and border control staff.cannot see what people have against properly trained staff on patrol at ports etc..have we forgot already about the terror attacks all over the world.if you only to pop over the channel and you will security that is done in a proper manner and to me a many others I have spoke to thinks it should be like this coming into and leaving our ports.just my opinion.

Terrorism is a much lesser threat in the UK and Western Europe than it was 30 or 40 years ago. I'm all for appropriate safeguards but we can't surrender our freedoms to a fear of something which is spectacularly unlikely to happen, fed by a media frenzy which makes people feel unsafe when they definitely aren't. If we're going to do it "properly" every car and every passenger gets a search, much less and it's tokenism or, worse, box ticking. Targetting and investing in proper intelligence-led work is a much better use of resources.

 

 

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I do agree there needs to be more profiling instead of the 'check every 10th passenger' which you seem to get at airports. As an elderly white pensioner I still find that around one time in three I have to go through the body scanner without belt or shoes which seems pointless. Meanwhile my hand luggage which is crammed with cameras, electric razors, spare hearing aids, electric mosquito deterrent, chargers and miles of wiring just sails through the scanner. It's difficult to understand the logic.

We did experience tough security at Cairo when returning from a Nile cruise a couple of years back. Three thorough checks before being allowed anywhere near the plane. They weren't messing about and I had no problem with that.

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4 hours ago, Millsy said:

There is all the difference in the world between doing a job properly and the cheap and cheerful antics we have now. I said they don't make me feel any more secure and they darned well don't. I am not talking about border controls I am talking about 'security'.

If you read what I said earlier,I was not defending security staff at Portsmouth.i was stating they were not paid very well and we should have state funded staff on duty at ports.which would be properly trained on all aspects of safety at our ports.i think we had a bit of a mix up about this.

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On 24/09/2019 at 22:04, nodwad said:

If you read what I said earlier,I was not defending security staff at Portsmouth.i was stating they were not paid very well and we should have state funded staff on duty at ports.which would be properly trained on all aspects of safety at our ports.i think we had a bit of a mix up about this.

Proper training,state run, the logical group to oversee this are the old bill. We saw the private sector give a job it's best shot at the Olympics. G4S had two years to set it up and we know how that panned out. Their shambles extended to having as one of my collegues the guy who ran the operations room of Hms Invincible during the Falklands who was employed as a guard while they had selected a school leaver who had just finished his A levels and a retired school teacher to be team leaders.

And please don't tell me G4S didn't coin it on the project - they billed the government for all the people they trained and did not use and charged a fortune for the uniform they supplied but did not issue.

 

Rhys

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50 minutes ago, Penlan said:

Proper training,state run, the logical group to oversee this are the old bill. We saw the private sector give a job it's best shot at the Olympics. G4S had two years to set it up and we know how that panned out. Their shambles extended to having as one of my collegues the guy who ran the operations room of Hms Invincible during the Falklands who was employed as a guard while they had selected a school leaver who had just finished his A levels and a retired school teacher to be team leaders.

And please don't tell me G4S didn't coin it on the project - they billed the government for all the people they trained and did not use and charged a fortune for the uniform they supplied but did not issue.

 

Rhys

Very accurate Penlan...then at the last minute they had to get the Military in to bail their useless asses out...Peanuts and monkeys come to mind, which is why the French use the Gendarmarie and the Spanish the Guardia Civil for their transport safety. Properly trained with access to additonal resources as required. Not cheap but simple.

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1 hour ago, Paully said:

Very accurate Penlan...then at the last minute they had to get the Military in to bail their useless asses out...Peanuts and monkeys come to mind, which is why the French use the Gendarmarie and the Spanish the Guardia Civil for their transport safety. Properly trained with access to additonal resources as required. Not cheap but simple.

The Olympics decision was political. I've known the guy who was the MD of Chubb for years ,he left when Securitas bought them & Reliance back in 2011, he was part of the team which tendered for the Olympics contract. CSP proved they had the manpower, the recruitment resources, the financial clout to fulfil the contract and do it cheaper. Problem was their owners didn't have fingers in UK political pies and were American.

The problem the Securitas lads have at Fishguard is that the hours are short due to the sailing timetable. I used to bump into them as I planned the first aid courses for the Securitas lads on Pembroke Power station when they dragged me into their H&S set up due to the turbine commissioning running late and they wanted to keep me around.

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The Olympics was a mess but, with two weeks notice the Police and military had a viable operation up and running, just like that.

In Wales G4S were left providing cover on two hotels in Cardiff, as it was,when the security was stress tested someone smuggled a viable bomb and an assault rifle into the Marriot. Not when my team was on, we nailed him as he came through the door.

Rhys

 

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16 minutes ago, Penlan said:

The Olympics was a mess but, with two weeks notice the Police and military had a viable operation up and running, just like that.

In Wales G4S were left providing cover on two hotels in Cardiff, as it was,when the security was stress tested someone smuggled a viable bomb and an assault rifle into the Marriot. Not when my team was on, we nailed him as he came through the door.

Rhys

 

Nicely done... The lads at the power station used to conduct exercises with the police and a few of the girls and boys from Castlemartin for a touch of realism, it was training for them too of course.

As you'll know Rhys most of the police around Pembrokeshire & Ceredigion are of the armed response variety as the area around Milford is deemed to be one of the U.K's highest value targets. EON/Alstom were given briefings every week. I assume it was the same for Valero, South Hook and Dragon and you and your lads at Fishguard had the odd visit too?

3 hours ago, Paully said:

Very accurate Penlan...then at the last minute they had to get the Military in to bail their useless asses out...Peanuts and monkeys come to mind, which is why the French use the Gendarmarie and the Spanish the Guardia Civil for their transport safety. Properly trained with access to additonal resources as required. Not cheap but simple.

It's what makes our police a bit hamstrung although rationalising SO12 & SO13 into SO19 has helped. There's no Gendarmerie, Guarda Civil, Carabinierie, Guarda Nacional Republicana or Dutch KMar. Whilst it's not military, Germany's BPOL specialises in border controls plus the sea & air ports and support the land police... GSG-9 grew from it origin. 

We don't have anything like a similarly military trained force which performs police duties. 

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A little bit of perspective might be in order.  Do you know how many people are killed by terrorism incidents compared with other causes of, how can I put this, unplanned death, such as road traffic incidents, pollution, smoking related illnesses, workplace incidents, heatwaves etc?  Terrorism accounts for orders of magnitude fewer deaths than most other causes. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/06/europes-terror-threat-is-real-but-our-cities-are-much-safer-than-you-think/

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There’s something unsettlingly different about a terrorist attack though, isn’t there.  The knowledge that it is a deliberate act, that someone has chosen to do against the victim and could equally have chosen not to do, makes raw statistical comparison with genuine accidents hard to accept as a fair comparison on an emotional level.

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58 minutes ago, Gareth said:

There’s something unsettlingly different about a terrorist attack though, isn’t there.  The knowledge that it is a deliberate act, that someone has chosen to do against the victim and could equally have chosen not to do, makes raw statistical comparison with genuine accidents hard to accept as a fair comparison on an emotional level.

I agree 100% .cannot understand people who are against Proper security wherever it is needed.terrorism has no boundry.live in the real world ,yes it is quiet at the moment but do you think they have given up there aim?cannot believe they don't think it is going to happen again ,it is only through our brave  security services who are preventing a attack happening and I praise them for the service they provide.

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