Border control specialist says more needs to be done with passenger history

Peter Forrest, managing director of DPM Systems, a national border security specialist, does not – surprisingly enough – recommend that more technology needs to be thrown at the issue, but says it is the behind-the-scenes systems that need beefing up.

He believes that countries need to align their passenger history information in order to provide a better and more holistic picture of a passenger’s travel history.

Forrest argues that, through the implementation of international standards and integrated use of biometric technology into the passenger security check process, then the prevention of queues, delays and reduction in staff does not need to come at the expense of national security.

“The recent reports surrounding the downgrading of border control checks highlights the need for a more efficient and standardised procedure. Rather than making claims that the cuts to personnel will impact on passenger waiting times or more stringent checks are needed, it would be more effective to re-think the passenger experience and how passenger information can be processed without impacting on the efficiency of our borders”, he explained.

“The prevention of queues and delays does not need to come at the expense of national security, the collection of data and security checks are already at a high level. What is needed is radical re-think towards how the current passenger experience can be effectively integrated into performing the correct and proper security checks”, he added.

Forrest went on to say that agencies have the technology available to verify passenger information against international databases, but he questions why does this always need to take place whilst the passenger is stood at a desk.

Why not, he explained, have a standardised procedure that allows for a passenger’s biometric information and travel document information to be processed whilst the passenger continues with their journey through a secure area.

“Should any concerns arise with an individual, they can be stopped at a final security check point before exiting through immigration”, he says, adding that standardising security checks to provide a clear and efficient process on all individuals will enable international systems to work together to reduce pressure on individual border control agencies.

This will, he concludes, produce a tangible improvement in passenger experience and national security.

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