Members of the Muslim community have criticised stop and questioning techniques used to help battle terrorism at airports.Source
Out of an audience of more than 60 people at least 18 said they had been questioned while at an airport.
Around eight people held their hand up when the audience in Glasgow was asked if they had been questioned more than four times.
Members of the audience at the public meeting said "offensive" questions, including whether they prayed five times a day, caused anger and could put people off contacting the police in the future.
Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 empowers police to stop and question people at UK ports and airports without any need for "reasonable suspicion" that the person is engaged in terrorism.
The public meeting - held at Pollokshields Burgh Hall in Maxwell Park, Glasgow - was attended by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill; Faroque Hussain, a Detective Inspector for the Ports Authority; and Chief Superintendent Ruaraidh Nicolson from Strathclyde Police.
A 32-year-old man, who lives in the West End of Glasgow and wished not to be named, said he was questioned for 80 minutes after flying into Glasgow Airport in June 2009. Asked how he felt looking back on the questioning, he said: "I feel angry"
Detective Inspector Hussain, from the counter-terrorism and intelligence section, said since feedback from the community, officers at Troon harbour and Glasgow Airport and Prestwick Airport had undergone cultural awareness training and "enhanced interview" techniques.
But Mr Hussain's claim that officers no longer asked whether people prayed "five times a day" since he took up his post in August were challenged by members of the audience.
Chief Supt Nicolson said work with an independent advisory group, made up of people from the community, had also been listened to in the last year. He said the group along with 20 to 30 others had also visited Glasgow Airport to give feedback on approaches.
Note the security staff have now been forced to undergo 'cultural awareness' training. Also note the presence of Chief Superintendent Ruaraidh Nicolson. This is the guy who, following the arrest in Glasgow earlier this year of the Stockholm suicide bomber's accomplice, was so 'culturally aware' that he said the following:
The most important thing here is the community reassurance, and getting information out to our communities, that this is not focused on any one community. This is an individual. Terrorism is a criminal act and that is how we will be dealing with this.
and implicitly threatened to arrest anyone who implied that terrorism might have a disproportionate link to any particular 'community':
We are working together with our community advisers, our community leaders to make sure that Scotland is a safe place.
If there any repercussions, if there are any raised tensions, if there’s any focus on one community we will be taking a robust stance on that.