Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Why Policing the Airport Means the Sky's the Limit ; Airport Police Are Coming to the End of Their Busy Summer Period. Charlotte Cox Spent the Day with a Community Beat Officer

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Why Policing the Airport Means the Sky's the Limit ; Airport Police Are Coming to the End of Their Busy Summer Period. Charlotte Cox Spent the Day with a Community Beat Officer

Article excerpt

THEY admit it is not a hotbed of crime but Manchester Airport's police are proud to have the highest detection rate in GMP.

Their most common problems are shoplifting, mobile phone thefts and rough sleepers - but no two days are the same for Pc Fiona Jay, 37, from Sale, a community beat officer at the airport.

Over the last four years working at the region's airport she has learned the summer means an increase in drunken passengers.

She said: "The airport is certainly not a hotbed of crime, there are cameras everywhere and because it's an airport, by its nature it's very easy to flush people out. We have the highest detection rates in the force because of our resources.

"Most people are very pleased to see us, they'll stop us for directions quite often. It's great working here because we really are a team, a community.

"We really try to promote Manchester. Lots of people have never seen a Manchester police officer before and there are lots of officers with firearms which can be intimidating, so part of our job is to be a friendly face for the police force."

But the job also brings out officers' diplomatic skills.

She added: "A man came into arrivals and both his mistress and his wife had come to meet him.

"The wife slapped the mistress and I was called to intervene, I split them up but it was intense.

"We meet so many different types of people here. I love arrivals and watching people greet each other, all the banners and emotion, it's heartwarming" Very rarely there are crimes such as endangering an aircraft or air rage - both of which are dealt with very strictly by the courts.

She added: "We had a businesswoman frustrated her flight was delayed and she said 'It's not as if I'm a terrorist' at the gate - twice. She was escorted from the airport and we had to do a sweep.

"And that meant the flight was delayed even longer.

"Another passenger tried to bring a snowglobe through security - even though it's clearly a liquid. …

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