Border Force staff face daily appearance checks

by Alister POOLE on May 8, 2012

UK Border Force officers, currently struggling to handle immigration queues of anything up to three hours, are now facing daily checks on uniform, hair and fingernails before they are allowed to begin their shift.
Internal emails that ended up in the hands of the British broadsheet press show how managers at various ports of entry around the country are now being instructed to make sure all members of staff meet strict appearance standards. Already, it has been noted that the emails are to heap additional pressure on Home Secretary Theresa May, as well as her immigration minister, the under-fire Damian Green, over the crisis that has embarrassingly engulfed the Border Force this year.

Numerous critics have blasted the Border Force and suggested that it is nearing a meltdown, with fliers facing lengthy delays entering the country not just at London Heathrow but also other hubs such as Stansted and Coquelles – northern France’s Eurotunnel terminal. Later this week, even worse delays will be expected as the Immigration Service Union, representing 4,000 vital frontline Border Force members of staff, will stage strikes over pensions.

The new tough stance has been demanded by the new chief of the Border Force, Brian Moore, who has underlined how important it is that staff always appear smart at a string of private “roadshows”. Any employees failing to comply with appearance standards set by the Force will either be sent home or made to work away from all immigration desks.

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