UK planespotters to battle al-Qaeda
Anoraks man front line in WOT
Police have formulated a cunning plan to protect Durham Tees Valley Airport from al-Qaeda kamikaze attack - crack teams of vigilante planespotting anoraks, the Telegraph reports.
Local cops have convened a meeting with "aircraft enthusiasts" aimed at recruiting them as the "eyes and ears" of the War on Terror™. Durham police's detective superintendent Neil Malkin explained: “We have thought for some time the planespotters may be a very useful source of information. They are at the site on a regular basis and could potentially be the first to spot any suspicious activity. This idea has worked in other areas and if there are sufficient numbers interested, it could be just as effective up here.”
Durham cops were quick to stress that the cunning plan was mooted before the Friends of Ozzie launched their chilling attack on Glasgow Airport, and indeed Bristol Airport deployed planespotters back in March as part of its "Airport Watch" scheme.
Durham Tess Valley airport's services manager Nicola Baines said: "Such a scheme will allow the police and other agencies to share information more easily and effectively."
Passengers, however, are not convinced that anoraks will prove an effective fighting force against terrorist apocalypse. Call centre worker Danielle Newport, 20, took time before jetting off to Tenerife to tell the Telegraph: "I can't believe some geeks in bobble hats are supposed to protect us from hardened terrorists. The police might live to regret this because they'll be getting hundreds of calls from the spotters.
"If terrorists have targeted a plane and you are on it there is nothing a plane spotter can do to help you. It's a crackpot plan."
Fellow passenger Steven Doherty, 38, chipped in with: "It sounds a bit like desperate measures to me. What are we going to have - vigilante plane spotters attacking potential terrorists at airports?
"Realistically, if something is going to happen there is very little anything can be done to stop it. The only reason the attack failed at Glasgow airport was because the terrorists messed up - it wasn't the police that stopped them."
Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Ashok Kumar, diplomatically offered: "At first sight it seems a bit odd, but then we do have neighbourhood watch, and that does help the police in their work. However it can be no substitute for proper policing and tight and tough security from professionals, who know the kind of threat they and we could be up against." ®
Urgh stop misquoting Benjamin Franklin. The actual quote (if it can attributed to him at all) is "Those who would give up ESSENTIAL LIBERTY to purchase a little TEMPORARY SAFETY, deserve neither LIBERTY or SAFETY". Subtle turn of words but makes a considerable difference to the meaning.
Really this is just another irritating example of media hype over terrorism. Keep your head on straight without burying it in the sand and you'll be just fine. And if not, you probably won't around to worry about it anyway...
Everyone repeat this one loud and often
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin
Spot on there, chum. I like your way of thinking.
I hope this security craze will pass, especially since I don't see any ACTUAL security in any of the proposals made since 9/11.
Seriously, if we want to be sure our airports are secure, all we need to do is ask El Al. That airline is Israel-based, and I don't remember hearing about a hijacked El Al plane since about a quarter of a century.
Yet Israel is right in enemy territory, and there is no shortage of towel-heads in the area.
They must be doing something right, and I bet it doesn't have much to do with parking distance.
Why don't we send a study group over to El Al and check what they're doing ? Why are we content with screening baby bottles and refusing kiddie scissors ?
If we're supposed to be scared of terrorism, then I want REAL security, not just impolite security personnel prone to giving your back end a finger check.