500 people scanned in East Lancs Train Station Sweep

ALMOST 500 train passengers were scanned for knives and drugs as Lancashire Constabulary and British Transport Police officers carried out checks on commuters at Blackburn, Accrington and Darwen train stations.

Officers working with drug dogs carried out 43 searches and as a result, 14 offences were detected with 12 cannabis warnings given, 1 fixed penalty and 1 reprimand.

40 officers from both forces, plus G4S staff and the LCC Safer Travel Unit, were drafted in to help with the operation.

G4S, who administer the train fares on the network, identified £68.90 of unpaid tickets during a two-hour period.

Inspector Mike Wedderburn, of British Transport Police, said: “This is just one way in which we can show that criminal behaviour will not be tolerated.”

This seems to me, a rather extreme way of showing that "Criminal behaviour will not be tolerated". They have taken 500 people out of their daily business and scanned them for drugs and knives. (The scanners shown above are examples of ones in use, not the actual ones used). As a result of the scans, they then physically searched 43 people. They managed to detect 14 cannabis related offences, arrested no one and charged no one.

I don't believe this is adequate use of 40 police officers, neither is it within the remit of private security services, and until I read this article, I had never heard of the LCC Safer Travel Unit. On further investigation (Google) it seems to be one of those "Partner Agencies" that the police love to work for with.

As this article appears in my local rag, I ventured a comment:

BuckoTheMoose, Darwen says...
1:45pm Mon 9 Aug 10

500 people were searched by police and private security services in order to identify 14 minor drugs offences?
Are you kidding me?
Inspector Mike Wedderburn, of British Transport Police, said: “This is just one way in which we can show that criminal behaviour will not be tolerated.”
You haven't found any criminal behaviour. You have stopped and searched 486 innocent people, going about their business and found 14 other people with cannabis. Score!
What a hideously intrusive society we live in.
Is there anyone reading who was stopped in these searches? Did anyone say no?

According to some, my love of privacy from state intrusion for the common man, is proof that I am a law breaking drug user:

Ivor Smallcock, Burnley says...
7:14am Tue 10 Aug 10

I guess your a drug using law breaking scum bag then. Just a presumption. But i think i may be correct ! The simple answer is nothing to hide nothing to worry about, cannabis is an illegal drug, my view would be that 14 drug using scumbags who have the very real possibility that they will become addicted to harder drugs and become thieving burglars and dealers, you know the ones that your type say the police are not doing enough to catch. I mean every smackhead wakes up in a morning and decides to be a...................
.. smackhead. It all starts somewhere. Families use railway stations, would you want your children sat next to a drug user of any type on a train. Get a grip and show some support to attemtps to rid society of drug users and criminals.

Cannabis is perfectly harmless in my opinion, and would certainly like drugs to be legalised. A drug user harms no one other than themselves, which is fine by me. Burglary is illegal and should be so.
I'm not sure why he asks if I would want my kids sat next to a drug user on a train.
Why do these people aways revert back to "think of the children"?
I would consider drug taking / drunkenness / swearing etc to be inappropriate behaviour on public transport, however having cannabis in your pocket does not harm children you are sat next to.
That argument is just as valid as "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear." I have my personal privacy to hide. And it's mine to hide if I wish.



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