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18-3-2013 9:15 pm  #1

Border Force continue NOT to record negative searches

4.36 Staff at all grades working at the SCP told us that guidance only required them to make notebook entries in the following circumstances:

•     when they detect a prohibited or restricted article;
•     when they intercept a passenger for a potentially sensitive reason, for example, because of 
intelligence received; and
•     in order to protect staff and the organisation, for example, when the officer considers that a 
complaint may be made by a passenger.

4.37 At the time of the inspection, we reviewed the HMRC Enforcement Handbook. This stated that 
officers should make notebook entries whenever a passenger is intercepted, regardless of the outcome of the interception. Our observations and discussions with staff revealed that they had not been  following this guidance. 

4.38 We raised this with managers during the inspection. They told us that an Interim Operational 
Instruction had been issued to staff on 19 April 2011, stating that negative interceptions did not need to be recorded in notebooks
. This instruction was due to be reviewed at the end of October 2011; however, we found this review had not been carried out. We looked at this instruction and found that, despite its long-overdue review, staff were still relying upon it to guide their activity, even though it contradicted the guidance in the HMRC Enforcement Handbook.

Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration

John Vine CBE QPM

Page 16  here

Fact of the matter is recording negative searches is the LAST thing Customs Officers want to do. It serves their purpose nicely NOT to record negative searches.

1. lt would show how many negative searches there were against how many times a seizure was made. As it stands they look superhuman and always seem to get a seizure when someone is stopped.

2. lt would go against one of their reasons for seizure and that is 'all trips abroad are for buying tobacco'.

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png We don't do nice ... we do right!

It's not that l have something to hide ... it's l have nothing l want to show you.

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