29 March 2010

Woman accuses airport security of ogling

Man reportedly made lewd comments after co-worker strayed into device

A security worker at London's Heathrow Airport has received a police warning and faces disciplinary action over claims he ogled a female colleague using a full-body scanner, officials said on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old worker made lewd comments after his colleague Jo Margetson, 29, mistakenly strayed into the scanner, which can see through clothes to produce an image of the body, the Sun newspaper reported.

The case is believed to be the first of its kind since the full-body scanners were rushed into service at a number of British airports in the wake of an attempt by a suspected Muslim extremist to blow up a plane bound for Detroit on December 25.

They are now being rolled out at airports across the world.

Details of the incident at Heathrow's Terminal 5 on March 10 emerged on the day lawmakers said concerns that the scanners were intrusive had been overblown.

Margetson told the Sun she had been "traumatized" by what had happened and had informed police and her bosses at the airport's operator BAA.

"We treat any allegations of inappropriate behaviour or misuse of security equipment very seriously and these claims are being investigated thoroughly," said a spokeswoman for BAA.

"If found to be substantiated, we will take appropriate action."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said officers had been informed of the allegation and "a first instance harassment warning has been issued to a 25-year-old man."

Opponents of scanners have argued since their introduction that they risked breaching individuals' rights to privacy. Britain's Equality and Human Rights Commission has already said they might be breaking discrimination and privacy laws.

"For every official caught ogling like this, there are plenty more eyeing up law-abiding travellers," Alex Deane, director of the Big Brother Watch campaign group, told the Sun.

"These expensive machines are totally disproportionate."

The government says staff using the machines are properly supervised and would not be able to see the person being scanned. All images are deleted.

Britain's parliamentary Home Affairs Committee said fears about the scanners were misplaced and they should be introduced at a faster pace to deal with the threat of terrorism.

"The Committee is satisfied that the privacy concerns that have been expressed in relation to these devices are overstated and ... should not prevent the deployment of scanners," it said in a report.

ninemsn 29 Mar 2010

The beginning of the end of Civil Liberties all in the name of terrorism.

Tensions mount as Gold Coast cabbie charged

Racial tensions among cab drivers on the Gold Coast are reportedly at boiling point after an Indian driver was charged with kidnapping five female passengers.

The 24-year-old driver was charged with five counts of deprivation of liberty after he allegedly held the five women over disputed fares, the Courier Mail reports.

The charges have angered Indian drivers on the coast, with strike action being threatened over the perceived victimisation of their colleague.

Police say the driver picked up five women earlier this month and drove them from Southport to Surfers Paradise.

"When they reached their destination, the driver asked for payment but the passengers have disputed the amount," a police spokeswoman told the Mail.

"It's alleged the driver then locked the doors of the taxi and drove the passengers around Surfers Paradise."

One of the alleged victims used a phone to alert police who then charged the driver.
He will appear in Southport Magistrates Court on April 7.

An Indian taxi driver told the newspaper the man should not have been charged.

"It is impossible to lock someone in a cab so I don't know how it is kidnapping," Gurwinder Singh said, adding that Indian drivers were being abused by passengers on a constant basis.

The CEO of Gold Coast Cabs, Martin O'Riordan, confirmed to the newspaper drivers felt they were not being treated fairly and that there was some unrest amongst them.

"The Indian drivers believe the police don't listen to them as effectively as other people in the community because of their racial background," Mr O'Riordan told the Mail.

He confirmed strike action has been threatened..

ninemsn 29 Mar 2010

Locking the doors is false imprisonment, a criminal offence.

There is a total ommission by the mass media that racism DOES exist in the Indian community.

There is (unjustified) pressure for Australians NOT to be racist against the Indian community but not the other way around.