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US guards with guns at UK airports

21 December 2015 8:35


British media reported on Sunday that the country is planning to use the help of armed US guards to provide security at airports for the first time.

The Daily Mail newspaper reported that the “US border guards” will have the power to search holidaymakers.

It added that the plan is still being discussed by Washington and London, adding that the US Department of Homeland Security wants to introduce the scheme at airports worldwide, including Heathrow and Manchester.

The measure is meant to reduce the risk of ISIL terrorists flying to the US, the Daily Mail added.

Guards from Customs and Border Protection would carry out immigration and customs checks before passengers board.

They would be given diplomatic immunity so they could not be prosecuted for any crime committed on British soil, the report added.

Other reports on Sunday said that the British armed police could get greater legal protection if they shoot suspected criminals.

This comes after Prime Minister David Cameron ordered a review of current laws in the light of mass shootings in Paris last month, the Sunday Times reported.

Unlike most forces around the world, British police are not routinely armed and currently just over 2,000 of London’s 31,000 officers are able to carry guns, said the AFP.

The Sunday Times, citing a senior government source, said Cameron was prepared to change current laws to give those armed officers greater protection against prosecution.

“Terrorist incidents both at home and abroad have shown very clearly the life-and-death decisions police officers have to make in split-second circumstances,” the source said, according to the newspaper.

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