Headlines: August 7th, 2012

A new survey finds that the majority of British travellers support the introduction of new technology that delivers greater security and efficiency at the UK’s borders.

The study of more than 2,000 British adults, carried out by online polling firm, YouGov for SAS, the business analytics software and services provider, finds that nearly two-thirds of British overseas travellers would support the current strict checks at border checking points being enhanced by technology that analyses each passenger by the potential risk they present, if this led to an overall reduction in queues and enhanced security. The survey questioned more than 2000 people.

Backing for this proposition grows with age. In the 25 to 34 age category, just 41 per cent said they would support trials of enhanced technology being used at border checking points, with 15 per cent opposing. Among those 55 and over, 69 per cent said they would support the trials with just 5 per cent opposing.

Joanne Taylor, director, public security at SAS, said: “The survey demonstrates that the British public are open to the authorities exploring an alternative to existing blanket checks. These checks, where all passengers are subject to the same rigorous procedures, have resulted in long delays and have not made us any more efficient at identifying illegal immigrants or high-risk individuals.

She added: “In contrast, risk profiling, which uses intelligence, data analytics and behavioural modelling to assess the risk individuals pose can actually significantly enhance protection, cutting queues while detecting more high-risk individuals coming into the UK. This is what we saw in last year’s borders pilot immigration scheme, which despite the negative publicity, was successful in its primary objective of detecting more high-risk individuals trying to enter the country illegally from Europe.”