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U.K. Border Force Failed to Screen 134 Passengers Against Terror Watchlist

The U.K.’s borders and immigration chief describes the country’s border protection agency as “generally poor” in understanding security risks and threats.

The United Kingdom’s Border Force failed to run 134 individuals’ names through a key security database before they arrived in the island nation via private jet or light aircraft between 2014 and 2015, the country’s Daily Express reported Thursday.

That is nearly three times higher that the year-earlier period when the agency forgot to check 43 flyers against the U.K.’s Warnings Index (WI).

Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration David Bolt said the Border Force faces “significant challenges” and said its knowledge level and understanding of security risks and threats were “generally poor,” the Daily Express said.

In the U.K., private and light aircraft operators are required to submit a form containing flight and passenger details in advance, which is then risk-assessed by officers. A flight is recorded as “missed” when the flight is not physically met or cleared remotely by Border Force.

Between 2012 and 2013, data showed that 84 flights flagged “high risk” were missed; 20 high-risk flights were missed between 2014 and 2015.

The disclosures came during in an inquiry by the borders watchdog into controls in the general aviation sector, which covers aircraft not operating to a specific and published schedule, the Daily Express said.

[Photo: Steve Parsons/PA]

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