20/12/2002

Armed police to be placed on UK aircraft

Armed police officers are to be used on UK flights as part of the government's ongoing measures to tackle terrorist threats.

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling said it is one of a large number of extra measures taken in co-operation with the aviation industry since the attacks on the US on September 11 last year.

The decision to allow the use of specially trained officers on flights is not a response to any new or specific intelligence, he added.

On in-flight security, Mr Darling said: "We are moving faster than the international community at large to ensure UK aircraft are fitted with intrusion-resistant flight deck doors, and last month we acted to ensure that flight deck doors on foreign aircraft are kept locked, as they have been on UK aircraft since very soon after the US attacks. We have also placed strict limits on those able to be on the flight deck of UK aircraft."

Other measures taken to increase security include stepping up search procedures, banning articles that can be taken on board and increasing funding for airport policing.

(MB)

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