Fewer drug, weapons checks as UK border times cut

September 4, 2013 6:50 am
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 AMeasures introduced before the London 2012 Olympics to cut queues at the country's ports have led to reduced checks against drug and weapons smuggling, the National Audit Office (NAO) warned Wednesday/AFP
AMeasures introduced before the London 2012 Olympics to cut queues at the country’s ports have led to reduced checks against drug and weapons smuggling, the National Audit Office (NAO) warned Wednesday/AFP

, LONDON September 4- Measures introduced before the London 2012 Olympics to cut queues at the country’s ports have led to reduced checks against drug and weapons smuggling, the National Audit Office (NAO) warned Wednesday.

Border Force officers told the spending watchdog that they only had enough staff to undertake full passport checks in the wake of the order to cut waiting times.

This meant they were often unable to carry out thorough checks for the trafficking of illegal goods, they added.

Margaret Hodge MP, chair of the Committee of Public Accounts, said: “The Border Force did well to reduce queueing times both during and after the Olympics, but it is deeply worrying that this came at the expense of its other responsibilities, particularly customs.

“The Border Force must be able to check both goods and passengers at the same time border security cannot be an

either or choice.”

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