We are indebted to BBC Radio Essex for alerting us to this. Unusually Essex Police have issued a national press release concerning security and the possession of offensive weapons at Stansted Airport in Essex, UK. Normally security operational matters are not media highlighted in this way.
We say this is unusual, as there has been for many years widespread international publicity over what may or may not be carried by air passengers in their luggage. Clearly the message isn't getting through to some.
This is what the Essex Police are saying:
Stansted Airport is one of the country’s busiest and largest airports with around 27 million passengers coming through its doors every year.
It remains one of the safest airports in the UK and is situated within the district of Uttlesford, in Essex.
Earlier this year, all [UK] police forces had to adhere to a change in the way it recorded the seizure of CS sprays, small knives, air soft weapons and air rifles under the National Crime Recording Standards.
The new crime category is possession of offensive weapon offences.
These weapons are seized from visitors to the UK from countries where possession of these articles are usually not an offence.
They are mostly dealt with by a community resolution.
There are rare situations where UK passengers are stopped at security checks in possession of these same weapons. They are detained by our officers and are either fined or put before a court.
The airport also runs regular Op Sceptre campaigns, a national campaign to raises awareness about the dangers of knife crime.
Project Servator, highly visible yet unpredictable police deployments involving a police dogs, armed officers and CCTV teams, was also launched at Stansted Airport in November 2016.
We would urge anyone with information about crime at Stansted Airport to call 999 in an emergency or by calling 101 in a non-emergency. You can also report it online by visiting www.essex.police.uk/do-it-online or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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