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rjandhl
25-07-10, 22:08
We have just returned from our summer cruise to Brittany and were boarded by Douaniers and UKBA. The overall process was similar between both organisations, however the French approach seemed to take a little more consideration towards the boat! The French boarded in a marina, they asked permission to board and were all wearing deck shoes, no helmets but were armed and there were five of them. The UKBA vessel Vigilant was patrolling south of the IoW, launched the black rib and told us in no uncertain terms that two of their number would be boarding us. They were clad in black, wore heavy black soled boots and large unwieldy crash helmets. Once onboard they had to ensure that the boat was "secure" and that they were under no threat from my husband, myself and any other unwanted persons that we may have on board. Once happy that nobody else was tucked away below they took up the friendly approach and went about their business in an amenable manner, passports, SSR, VAT, as we had gone to Cherbourg after St PPort all was OK. However the decks were left with dirty black boot prints, the woodwork below was in danger from the crash helmet which was left swinging from the front of his suit (presumably so that he could radio for assistance immediately if required) and we later found that both the rubbing strake and top sides were left with large black scuff marks from the rib. They said that they are not allowed to wear deck shoes for health and safety reasons, logical, perhaps, if they are boarding fishing or large commercial vessels.
The difference in approach between the two organisations was quite marked.

Piddy
26-07-10, 09:41
We're just back from Brittany and CI's but didn't get any boardings or inspections.
Shame really as we had all the documentation and bought a new offshore flare pack "just in case" (the old ones expired in 2008 - Oops!).
We travelled back from Cherbourg on Thursday fully expecting to be challenged on this side - perhaps they knock off at 16:30?

Which day were you stopped by UKBA?

Cheers

ChiPete
26-07-10, 17:09
A month into a cruise around Normandy and Britanny, we haven't been boarded once. We're in Granville at the mo, starting to head back North. I look forward to being boarded by either party - the French so I can practice the lingo and have a decent conversation with non-jobsworths and the UKBA so I can stand at the rail and 'state' in no uncertain terms that no-one is boarding until I see ID...feckin idiots.

rjandhl
26-07-10, 19:33
It was Friday, early evening. Other boats around us were boarded as well. They were back in their berth in Haslar by the time we got in.
ID was presented once they arrived in the cockpit but not before, although it was fairly obvious who they were as their patrol vessel, Vigilant was standing close by.

Powersalt
26-07-10, 20:54
From what I have heard the French are only interested in passports and yacht registration. Where the uk wants to see all documents. Did you find this to be true??

Powersalt
26-07-10, 20:55
A month into a cruise around Normandy and Britanny, we haven't been boarded once. We're in Granville at the mo, starting to head back North. I look forward to being boarded by either party - the French so I can practice the lingo and have a decent conversation with non-jobsworths and the UKBA so I can stand at the rail and 'state' in no uncertain terms that no-one is boarding until I see ID...feckin idiots.

Granville is supposed to be natorious for the gendarm daily visits. Im surprised you have missed them

rjandhl
26-07-10, 21:16
The French wanted to know where we were from, had been to and were planning to go to, checked passports and SSR, then asked the usual customs' questions re resticted goods, ie drugs, guns etc. They were fairly relaxed and were suitably shod with deck shoes. The UKBA wanted the same but also evidence of VAT payment and they took two swabs from surfaces inside the boat, one for drugs and the other explosives, we were told that this is part of their standard procedure.

Robin
26-07-10, 22:48
The French wanted to know where we were from, had been to and were planning to go to, checked passports and SSR, then asked the usual customs' questions re resticted goods, ie drugs, guns etc. They were fairly relaxed and were suitably shod with deck shoes. The UKBA wanted the same but also evidence of VAT payment and they took two swabs from surfaces inside the boat, one for drugs and the other explosives, we were told that this is part of their standard procedure.

We were boarded by the men in black from the big boat off Poole in 2008 as we returned from France. We were not asked for anything other than Registration papers and passports plus a lot of questions to check things they already knew as they were looking at them in the Part 1 Registry document, things like how long we had owned the boat, our full address and postcode, dates of birth and so on. They didn't go below, nor did they take swabs of anything. They were friendly enough as we were to them despite their leaving black boot marks on deck and they even gave us a picture postcard of their boat! I got the impression they wanted the message to get around that they were out and about and would be a part of the new order of things to come.

We had previously been boarded several times over the years by French customs in various places from off and inside Cherbourg down to La Rochelle and as said the French at least wear boat shoes and were in normal uniform clothes, albeit with guns in holsters. They didn't go in for the full black special forces riot gear and helmets either.

georgeo
27-07-10, 10:45
We were boarded in June whilst on the waitig pontoon in Dielette. Very polite but scrupulous. Fortunately I had all the relevant documentation with me bar.....the wifes' passport. "Where is it?" "How do we know she is who she says she is?" Increasing angst until fortunately I found it where it had fallen out in the bottom of the bag. They then took both passports away and checked on the phone that we were not wanted for some heinous crime in France. Eventually we got the polite go ahead.
I am glad we found the passport, i have heard it is a 1000 euro on the spot fine otherwise. Although any other form of photo ID may have sufficed. Needless to say, SWMBO did not have anything else suitable.....

Sailfree
27-07-10, 14:16
We were boarded by UKBA last year and while polite the more I think about it the more I object.

How would you feel if they decided to search your car or your home.

Don't get me wrong I have no problerm with intelligence led searches just random ones where some jobsworth stamps his black booted authority all over your boat.

I am happy to change my mind if random searches turned up illegal immigrants or drugs or firearms but if the UKBA had discovered any I am sure they would be boasting about it.

Until then I will hold my position that the sooner the financial cuts hit the UKBA lot the better!

Goldie
27-07-10, 15:14
We were boarded by French Customs Officers from cutter DF 40 whilst 16nm NNW of Cap de la Hague en-route back to UK - this was about 3 weeks ago. All very polite (and wearing deck shoes) but still in 'combat' style clothing, armed and quite intimidating. Four crew boarded us (why us when there was a nice posh RYS 48 footer half a mile away?). They were polite but firm - no photographs, wouldn't sign the logbook, wouldn't provide a piece of paper to say we'd been boarded and found OK (as we have had issued in the past). Apparently they have customs authority to 24nm from the mean line of the shore notwithstanding the 12nm territorial limit as, they told me, do UK. The only problem was that we had a couple of ships bearing down on us. still, we though, seeing the RIB and Customs Cutter they'd give us a wide berth....especially as we were the stand on vessel..... Don't you believe it! The Cutter and RIB retired to a safe distance PDQ!

Tom Price
27-07-10, 15:19
So was that her loitering in Hayling Bay this past weekend?
Would appreciate constructive suggestions about dealing with the black booted invasion - not worried about the paperwork, just the mess they leave behind!

nonitoo
27-07-10, 15:38
All this chat about boarding by the UKBA poses the question..........

What documentation are you required, by the UKBA/MCA, to carry aboard (NOT talking about foreign excursions). For normal UK-UK passages only.

Can anyone help ? It would also assist if chapter and verse could be quoted.

Personally I am unaware of any requirements at all (although I do carry various bits of bumf).

Tom

shov
27-07-10, 15:41
We were boarded in the Hebrides. The skipper told the UKBA rib there was no way they were coming alongside until he'd put fenders out as he'd heard stories about the black marks they leave. The UKBA soldiers weren't very happy about but eventually backed down and let us put fenders out.

Still think it's very rude of UKBA to expect to board boats, not least in the manner they do. Whilst chatting to them, I got them to admit that none of the crew of that particular cutter had ever managed to catch any drug dealers and they simply had a quota of boats they had to stop.

Robin
27-07-10, 15:49
All this chat about boarding by the UKBA poses the question..........

What documentation are you required, by the UKBA/MCA, to carry aboard (NOT talking about foreign excursions). For normal UK-UK passages only.

Can anyone help ? It would also assist if chapter and verse could be quoted.

Personally I am unaware of any requirements at all (although I do carry various bits of bumf).

Tom

Zilch!

neale
27-07-10, 15:53
I would suggest VHF licence and operators certificate if you have a VHF on board. That's about it I think.

fireball
27-07-10, 15:56
What documentation are you required, by the UKBA/MCA, to carry aboard (NOT talking about foreign excursions). For normal UK-UK passages only.
None whatsoever ...

sailorman
27-07-10, 16:03
I would suggest VHF licence and operators certificate if you have a VHF on board. That's about it I think.

that is beyond the ukba remit :rolleyes:

Allan
27-07-10, 16:11
Whilst in Granville last year I returned from the shower to find 3 officers, dressed in black, standing by the boat. After shaking hands they asked politely for my registration document. When I passed them the part one document for my boat, called Chausey, named after Ilse de Chausey, which are just off the coast and much loved by the Granvillaise, they passed it around. After that it was all smiles as they joined us for coffee onboard. When I sail elsewhere in France I may change the name to that of a another much loved local island, Glenans for Concarneau perhaps?
I'm interested to know if the UKBA call you on the radio before boarding?
Allan

Tom Price
27-07-10, 16:34
That is beyond the UKBA remit

So help hoi polloi by spelling out what their remit is!!
we wait to be educated . . .

sailorman
27-07-10, 17:03
So help hoi polloi by spelling out what their remit is!!
we wait to be educated . . .

they are not the issuing authority of radio licences

Ubergeekian
27-07-10, 17:11
What documentation are you required, by the UKBA/MCA, to carry aboard (NOT talking about foreign excursions). For normal UK-UK passages only.

Who cares what the UKBA/MCA require? It's what the law requires that matters, or should matter...

Quandary
27-07-10, 17:48
Last nights Scottish news featured their cutter around Oban and patrolling and boarding in Loch Linnhe and Kerrera Sound.
What sort of devious bloke do they anticipate will choose that route for illegal entry, and where might he be coming from, Lismore, Kerrera, Bach Island, or perhaps all the way from Mull?
Perhaps they need to have a think about geography.

sailorman
27-07-10, 17:50
Last nights Scottish news featured their cutter around Oban and patrolling and boarding in Loch Linnhe and Kerrera Sound.
What sort of devious bloke do they anticipate will choose that route for illegal entry, and where might he be coming from, Lismore, Kerrera, Bach Island, or perhaps all the way from Mull?
Perhaps they need to have a think about geography.

They were on Holiday ;)

davidwf
27-07-10, 18:13
Methinks there may be a market for toetector deck shoes. Perhaps the marina staff could buy them as well for when they launch my boat :-)

doris
27-07-10, 18:14
What legal basis do UKBA have to board. Where is it any difference to a plod doing an stop and search on the street. As soon as I show my UK passport what else can they demand? Yes I know that might is right but what is the statutory basis for their boarding? I am not trying to pick a fight but it would be nice to know the ground rules. If I tell them to pi** off what happens then?

sailorman
27-07-10, 18:19
What legal basis do UKBA have to board. Where is it any difference to a plod doing an stop and search on the street. As soon as I show my UK passport what else can they demand? Yes I know that might is right but what is the statutory basis for their boarding? I am not trying to pick a fight but it would be nice to know the ground rules. If I tell them to pi** off what happens then?

C & E dont req a Warrant to search :eek:

timbartlett
27-07-10, 19:16
If I tell them to pi** off what happens then? Either the boat inexplicably gybes and you forget to duck, or you unnaccountably fall down the companionway, I should think.

timbartlett
27-07-10, 19:24
Who cares what the UKBA/MCA require? It's what the law requires that matters, or should matter...
http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-laughing021.gif
Ahh bless him.

The law only matters if it gets to court -- and even then, the worst (from UKBA's point of view) that can happen is that the case will be dismissed. But there's months of complaints procedure to go through first.

grumpy_o_g
28-07-10, 00:17
Shirley you require a licence to operate a VHF set, not to own it? I'm pretty sure that's what mine's called, not that I can find it.

I'm more intrigued by the 24 nm offshore bit. Ignoring the fact that includes Dover High Street, at what point was the territorial limit extended? They can pass whatever laws they like - if they're outside their territorial waters it has as much relevance as a Papal edict to me (SMG pointed at my midriff notwithstanding).

nonitoo
28-07-10, 07:29
And so it goes on..............

http://www.rya.org.uk/newsevents/news/Pages/Governmentcancelse-Borderscontract.aspx

Tom

rjandhl
29-07-10, 20:41
No VHF call up beforehand, just hand signals from the rib to indicate that they wanted us to maintain course, which side they intended to board on and how many would be boarding.

ChiPete
03-08-10, 18:00
Made it all the way home last weekend without a boarding. Mind you in the 25-29kt westerleys off St Catherine's Point, I doubt even the 'fearless' UKBA would have a go at boarding.

Hopefully this paper tiger will be seen off by the cutbacks and we can all rest easy once again (on this side of the moat anyway!).

sailorman
03-08-10, 18:03
Shirley you require a licence to operate a VHF set, not to own it? I'm pretty sure that's what mine's called, not that I can find it.

I'm more intrigued by the 24 nm offshore bit. Ignoring the fact that includes Dover High Street, at what point was the territorial limit extended? They can pass whatever laws they like - if they're outside their territorial waters it has as much relevance as a Papal edict to me (SMG pointed at my midriff notwithstanding).

allegedly a licence to operate + a "Ships Licence"

Boo2
04-08-10, 09:44
How would you feel if they decided to search your car or your home.

I travel by Eurotunnel between the continent and the UK every week and have been stopped several times by UK customs. I felt it was an intrusion, especially when they went through my briefcase and the box folder with the company accounts.

The reality is that this happens to thousands of people on a daily basis, and for me personally the excuse that it is to find drugs and other contraband doesn't wash. If the price of preventing people taking drugs is the current restriction of freedom and intrusion into privacy then I for one am not prepared to pay it.


Until then I will hold my position that the sooner the financial cuts hit the UKBA lot the better!

Well, we could camaign for the UK to sign the Schengen Agreement and do away with border controls between us and Europe entirely.

Boo2

OR4751
04-08-10, 11:04
I travel by Eurotunnel between the continent and the UK every week and have been stopped several times by UK customs. I felt it was an intrusion, especially when they went through my briefcase and the box folder with the company accounts.


I also use(d) Eurotunnel on a regular basis.
Have you noticed how (not!) random these security checks are and how there's more of them in the tourist season when it's busier than usual?
OTOH; never seen any security checks November-March. Never realised security was seasonal business.

Playing to the gallery, or what?



Well, we could camaign for the UK to sign the Schengen Agreement and do away with border controls between us and Europe entirely.

Boo2

We should, but the tabloids (and hence a large proportion of the general public) won't stand for it. We need to keep all those nasty foreigners out - secure our borders and all that.

Tip for Osama Bed Linnen: get your bombs in through Eurotunnel mid February. No-one will bother you.

Wino
04-08-10, 11:37
As there is still no need ( I believe ) to have your vessel registered, why do they ask for Reg Docs.

We have been boarded three times by French, very polite, no probs, BUT we were made fully aware things coud be very different if there were probs.

westernman
04-08-10, 12:08
Well, we could camaign for the UK to sign the Schengen Agreement and do away with border controls between us and Europe entirely.


I am not sure that would really change anything much. For instance on the A9 from Barcelona to Montpellier, shortly after the first peage in France there is almost always a group of "Douaniers" stopping and searching cars. The absence of border controls means that the Douaniers now stop and search almost anywhere (even seen them stopping cars at Montpellier more than 150kms from the border) instead of just at the border.

oldharry
04-08-10, 15:28
Last nights Scottish news featured their cutter around Oban and patrolling and boarding in Loch Linnhe and Kerrera Sound.
What sort of devious bloke do they anticipate will choose that route for illegal entry, and where might he be coming from, Lismore, Kerrera, Bach Island, or perhaps all the way from Mull?
Perhaps they need to have a think about geography.

Republic of Ireland. The lack of border controls between ROI, NI, and UK means it is now apparently a major entry point to UK for both undesireable gentlemen of eastern origin, and drug couriers.

dt4134
04-08-10, 15:53
Republic of Ireland. The lack of border controls between ROI, NI, and UK means it is now apparently a major entry point to UK for both undesireable gentlemen of eastern origin, and drug couriers.

Is that the story they're putting around after the House of Lords made the last government keep the CTA?

If anything border controls are probably better in the RoI than in the UK.

bromleybysea
04-08-10, 19:47
UKBA are a bunch of useless, unnecessary abusive thugs. I know from professional experience that prison officers and police are reluctant to have operational contact with UKBA staff because of the brutal way they treat "detainees". There is incontrovertible evidence that children held in immigrant removal centres regularly suffer significant harm- this constitutes child abuse, albeit that this practice is supposed to be ending. The regular checks of pleasure yachts are a waste of time, as almost all major drug interdictions are intelligence led and random searches of yachts has produced no perceptible increase in seizures. The UKBA and its activities are proof-positive of the adage that any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. They are one of the worst legacies of New Labour and their activities should be resisted by all right-minded individuals at every opportunity.

Searush
04-08-10, 20:00
UKBA are a bunch of useless, unnecessary abusive thugs. I know from professional experience that prison officers and police are reluctant to have operational contact with UKBA staff because of the brutal way they treat "detainees". There is incontrovertible evidence that children held in immigrant removal centres regularly suffer significant harm- this constitutes child abuse, albeit that this practice is supposed to be ending. The regular checks of pleasure yachts are a waste of time, as almost all major drug interdictions are intelligence led and random searches of yachts has produced no perceptible increase in seizures. The UKBA and its activities are proof-positive of the adage that any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. They are one of the worst legacies of New Labour and their activities should be resisted by all right-minded individuals at every opportunity.

And do you have any practical suggestions as to how we "right-minded individuals" should resist their attentions?

oldharry
05-08-10, 08:32
And do you have any practical suggestions as to how we "right-minded individuals" should resist their attentions?
Good question - what rights DO they have when it comes to stopping and searching private yachts? And more to the point what rights do WE have? If any...

timbartlett
05-08-10, 09:11
And do you have any practical suggestions as to how we "right-minded individuals" should resist their attentions?Fora such as this are a good start.

I doubt whether any official is specifically tasked with the job of monitoring YBW.com... but it's entirely possible that some do, and that some MPs do. It is quite possible that they may use the forum as a sort of ready made focus group when they are hatching plans for the future. And it is absolutely certain that the forum made a difference to the message that got back to UKBA HQ after the London Boat Show!

And it is good for individual victims of UKBAs attentions to know that they are not alone. Not only does it make their sense of outrage easier to bear: it also means that they are likely to be more courageous and forceful in expressing opinions -- in many quarters -- will still be met with scepticism (or outright hostility).

There are still a lot of people in this country who cling to the belief that "the innocent have nothing to fear" and are determined to ignore any argument or evidence to the contrary.

OR4751
05-08-10, 09:17
what rights DO they have when it comes to stopping and searching private yachts?

No habla inglès :rolleyes:

Searush
05-08-10, 09:59
No habla inglès :rolleyes:

You are JOKING of course, that would get you straight into a detention centre in double quick time. It might take some time to get out again unless you are deported. Not sure what would happen to your boat - sold at auction?

As far as I can see UKBA have the right to board & search any boat in UK waters at any time & without notice or reason. They can also demand any documentation that may be aboard to identify both the boat & all people on board and whether VAT is paid & ownership in order. Searching the boat may well be a destructive process & they have no obligation to put it back together again either - if their treatment of motorists is anything to go by. Have I left anything out?

Our rights are, err, umm, . . . err, to let them, I think.

oldharry
05-08-10, 16:26
Agreed, Searush, thats certainly the impression I have:

"The man with the gun he say 'jump', you jump, right?"

Searush
05-08-10, 17:50
(snip)
"The man with the gun he say 'jump', you jump, right?"

Weeeeell, a friend of mine pointed out that a man with a gun can't make you do anything. He CAN kill you for not doing it, but that's actually quite different. It's just a thought - and it certainly got me thinking. Incidentally, he was a genuinely committed Christian & might have been happy to meet his maker rather than predjudice his soul. I may be more likely to compromise.

Nevertheless, if you were shot by the UKBA during a boarding incident there would need to be an awful lot of paper work to cover it up. Innocent or guilty use of their weapons is likely to be quite tightly controlled. I think a severe head blow & a dunking (as surmised by Tim) may be more likely than a shooting.

savageseadog
05-08-10, 18:31
Weeeeell, a friend of mine pointed out that a man with a gun can't make you do anything. He CAN kill you for not doing it, but that's actually quite different. It's just a thought - and it certainly got me thinking. Incidentally, he was a genuinely committed Christian & might have been happy to meet his maker rather than predjudice his soul. I may be more likely to compromise.

Nevertheless, if you were shot by the UKBA during a boarding incident there would need to be an awful lot of paper work to cover it up. Innocent or guilty use of their weapons is likely to be quite tightly controlled. I think a severe head blow & a dunking (as surmised by Tim) may be more likely than a shooting.

The prospect of paperwork didn't seem to trouble the police that killed Jean Charles de Menezes. Customs and Excise have a Queen's warrant, does that include a licence to kill?

Funnily enough I was speaking to a spiritualist minister who had been targeted by some gangsters, he said it didn't worry him, for obvious reasons

SimbaDog
05-08-10, 18:34
What about pretending to be a Somali Pirate?
That should cause them to about turn & bu**er off :D

Danny Jo
05-08-10, 18:52
You are JOKING of course, that would get you straight into a detention centre in double quick time. It might take some time to get out again unless you are deported. Not sure what would happen to your boat - sold at auction?

As far as I can see UKBA have the right to board & search any boat in UK waters at any time & without notice or reason. They can also demand any documentation that may be aboard to identify both the boat & all people on board and whether VAT is paid & ownership in order. Searching the boat may well be a destructive process & they have no obligation to put it back together again either - if their treatment of motorists is anything to go by. Have I left anything out?

Our rights are, err, umm, . . . err, to let them, I think.Most people seem unaware just how much power UKBA, and their predecessor HM Customs and Excise, have and had.

Back in the 60's I had a landlord who worked for Customs and Excise. He was a valuable mentor, taught me some practical electronics, and gave me valuable advice on dealing with his colleagues.

If you value your boat, be at least civil if you're not up to being very, very polite. The last thing you want to say is "What right have you to search my boat?" It invites the reply "You think this is a search, do you? Now then, Mr Upright Citizen, we'll show you a proper search."

Edit: Is it true that the only people permitted to enter your house without either your permission or a warrant are a midwife and an UKBA officer?

trapezeartist
05-08-10, 22:39
Got a mobile phone that takes video? Most of us have. When approached, start the camera rolling and keep it going. That should help them to be reasonably well-behaved.

Memo to self: I must learn how it works. My sole effort at video so far was a ten second clip of my feet followed by 30 minutes of the inside of my pocket.:( It does have a good capacity though.:)

Searush
05-08-10, 22:54
Got a mobile phone that takes video? Most of us have. When approached, start the camera rolling and keep it going. That should help them to be reasonably well-behaved.

(snippety-snip):)

Yeah, right. I am perfectly capable of dropping my own very expensive mobile in the sea thank you - I know coz I've already done it once. I don't need any jerk in a flak jacket to snatch it out of my hand & throw it in the sea for me. Coz that is what will happen if you try that one. :rolleyes:

trapezeartist
06-08-10, 09:22
I've not yet got any personal experience of these upright-public-servants-dedicated-to protecting-you-and-me-from-umm-whatever-they-are-protecting-us-from, but do you really think they would go that far?

I'm still trying to pre-plan my response, should it ever happen. I've abandoned the idea of ignoring them, asking them to take their boots off, or firing my flares at them in case they are pirates. I don't think it's unreasonable to make a video record of their presence on my boat, or ask for their ID, or ask why they have chosen to board my boat. Nor is it unreasonable distribute such information to whoever I think may take an interest in it (this forum, the press, my MP, etc).

Searush
06-08-10, 09:35
I suspect a Pan Pan to HMCG on Ch16 about the "potentially threatening behaviour of unidentified armed men in a high speed craft" may be a start. It alerts both the landing party, mother ship & CG that you are feeling threatened.

Sensible boarders should then be thinking about a more softly softly approach - or they could assume you were heavily armed & dangerous criminals with something to hide & trying to bluff them. :eek:

The whole concept of armed raids on leisure boats in the UK is just ludicrous & completely counter-productive. Perhaps we should write to our MP's and ask them to enquire officially "whether any crimes are known to have been detected or prevented by this tactic?"

rallyveteran
06-08-10, 11:24
The whole concept of armed raids on leisure boats in the UK is just ludicrous & completely counter-productive.

Quite agree that the tactic is counter productive, but I don't think anyone has said that UKBA are armed when they board. The French are armed, but also generally charming, so I don't mind them so much.

ChiPete
07-08-10, 16:15
As I have mentioned before, the French are indeed armed, generally look very fit and able to handle themselves and...very professional and charming. A pleasure to deal with.

On the other hand, we have contend with an organisation made up of ignorant thugs, who have been gifted almost unlimted powers of stop-and-search, whilst projecting their power through their 'costumes' and intimidation. That the possible outcome of standing up for yourself has been discussed on this thread beggars belief!

I truly believe the type of individual who would want to work as one of these idiots (and PCSOs/traffic warden/''community warden''/etc. etc.) was the boy who was always last to be picked for the team at school and has something ''lacking'' in some department to make up for...I wonder if they're so cocky when they're on their own?

Again, hopefully we'll see this travesty disbanded soon.

BlowingOldBoots
07-08-10, 16:40
...... Edit: Is it true that the only people permitted to enter your house without either your permission or a warrant are a midwife and an UKBA officer?

No idea about a midwife but the Transport Police apparently have the most powers of search and entry. Could be an urban legend.

An associate was a traffic warden. He had issues with everyone and everything. Anyway he left because he ended up having an issue with the Local Authority that hired the company he worked for. He still has issues with everything and anything. He would probably be in his element as a UKBA boat person until he developed an issue with something.

Major Catastrophe
07-08-10, 17:14
Two things, UKBA have stated that their RIB personnel are not armed and if one was to grab a phone and throw it overboard he would be committing a criminal act.
I am fairly certain that would not happen.

They may be thugs, but they aren't idiots.

Searush
07-08-10, 17:54
Oh, that's alright then, Official denials are alway reliable aren't they?


But, hang on, even the police object to people taking pictures in public - especially if they include shots of themselves pushing newspaper sellers, or hitting women, etc.

Can I ask anyone being boarded to try video-ing the event with a view to posting it on U-tube & see what happens, please? Unfortunately, I do not feel inclined to take the risk with my own phone - it has been a damn nuisance to replace it & restore all the data & s/w I had on the one that I sent swimming.

Of course it would be illegal to snatch it & throw it over the side, Major, but say 5 of them swear that you dropped it over the side when your boat lurched on being boarded? You may find it difficult to prove otherwise.

As to the armed personnel, I have no personal experience, but I thought someone said that the ones who boarded their boat weren't armed, but some who stayed in the RIB were.

skipper_stu
07-08-10, 18:22
I am not sure that would really change anything much. For instance on the A9 from Barcelona to Montpellier, shortly after the first peage in France there is almost always a group of "Douaniers" stopping and searching cars. The absence of border controls means that the Douaniers now stop and search almost anywhere (even seen them stopping cars at Montpellier more than 150kms from the border) instead of just at the border.
Used to work in Algeria in the 70s, was the roving mechanic from Oran to Blida, the douanes would stop us anywhere. Was told by the Froggies working with us, that that is what the douaniers do in France and that was why they did it in Algeria. Had a scare once, we used to go to the Morrocco border and buy smuggled red Edam cheeses ( we lived off the land and they were one of our luxuries) I had the underneath of the 404 pickup bench seat full of them. My school boy French was adequate and they didnt spot them!
Stu

timbartlett
07-08-10, 22:42
I don't think it's unreasonable to make a video record of their presence on my boat, or ask for their ID, or ask why they have chosen to board my boat. Nor is it unreasonable distribute such information to whoever I think may take an interest in it (this forum, the press, my MP, etc).Sorry to sound pedantic, but what you think wouldn't be worth the paper it was written on. It's what they think that counts. And there are plenty of televised incidents to show that the police regard asking to see identity or asking why you have been stopped is "argumentative" or "resisting arrest".

And I'm afraid I entirely agree with the suggestion that if you were seen videoing a stop, your phone or camera would almost certainly fall overboard -- and there would be complete agreement by all the officials concerned that it was you who dropped it.

A far better ploy, IMHO, would be covert audio. It would still tell the story, but you would stand a far better chance of keeping it.


Oh, that's alright then, Official denials are alway reliable aren't they? Funny you should say that. A few months ago, I emailed the UKBA press office with a copy of one of their own press release photographs of one of the old customs cutters after it had been relabelled UKBA and asked what the thing on the foredeck that looked like a gun was.

The reply was that it was something ashore in the background.

The interesting thing is not what it is -- it's supposed to be a "fire monitor" (a.k.a. a water cannon) BTW -- but that the immediate reaction was to lie about it.

Major Catastrophe
07-08-10, 23:02
The interesting thing is not what it is -- it's supposed to be a "fire monitor" (a.k.a. a water cannon) BTW -- but that the immediate reaction was to lie about it.

Maybe the person genuinely didn't know what it was. A press bod is not the most knowledgeable person about a UKBA cutter.

I have looked at pictures of all four cutters and whatever is on the foredeck, it is not a gun, plus all the cutter specifications state it is unarmed.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4d/HMRC_Valiant_BB.jpg.jpg

Latest pictures show it painted orange.

http://pbo.co.uk/imageBank/h/HMC-Valiant.jpg

zarathustra
07-08-10, 23:12
Well said. I agree with all of that.......except the bit about being a bad legacy of New Labour, I don't see a real distinction between New Labour and Tory, 1 party with 2 different colours. I would simply say it is a legacy of the MP's and the ruling elite of this century, and again I agree that they should be resisted.


UKBA are a bunch of useless, unnecessary abusive thugs. I know from professional experience that prison officers and police are reluctant to have operational contact with UKBA staff because of the brutal way they treat "detainees". There is incontrovertible evidence that children held in immigrant removal centres regularly suffer significant harm- this constitutes child abuse, albeit that this practice is supposed to be ending. The regular checks of pleasure yachts are a waste of time, as almost all major drug interdictions are intelligence led and random searches of yachts has produced no perceptible increase in seizures. The UKBA and its activities are proof-positive of the adage that any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. They are one of the worst legacies of New Labour and their activities should be resisted by all right-minded individuals at every opportunity.

timbartlett
08-08-10, 11:11
Maybe the person genuinely didn't know what it was. A press bod is not the most knowledgeable person about a UKBA cutter.
I entirely agree. but as I wrote in my post:-

The interesting thing is not what it is but that the immediate reaction was to lie about it.

Major Catastrophe
08-08-10, 11:23
I entirely agree. but as I wrote in my post:-

And I replied because I believe it was ignorance, rather than a lie.

timbartlett
08-08-10, 14:33
And I replied because I believe it was ignorance, rather than a lie.So what would be wrong with finding out the correct answer before replying (in writing) with an answer that wasn't true? It's part of the "never admit that you don't know -- just make something up" culture that seems to pervade the civil service.

BruceDanforth
08-08-10, 14:44
A friend managed to talk french customs bods into posing for pictures getting guys on the boat to walk the plank at gunpoint after subverting them with fine wine and olives and stuff.

BlowingOldBoots
08-08-10, 14:52
A friend managed to talk french customs bods into posing for pictures getting guys on the boat to walk the plank at gunpoint after subverting them with fine wine and olives and stuff.

Ha Ha Ha .... reminded me about "Up In Smoke" and the scene with the Narks dressed as Krishna's outside the concert hall.

DownWest
08-08-10, 20:08
I have been twice on the front end of customs guns. Once at Rome airport when I had a drive shaft in my carry on. The X-ray made it look like an RPG and the customs guy wandered off while I unpacked, to give the two Carabineiry a clear field of fire. Not surprising, as it was a month after the Red Brigades fire-fight there. The other was crossing the French/Belgien border with a barrel of wine in the back of a Mini moke. We were held at gun point for several minuites until our documents were verified on the radio ( this was '75). When I asked what the problem was, he said that the girl/friend looked like one of the Bader-Mainhoff(sp) gang. Bearing in mind that there had been a few shoot outs in Germany with mistaken ID's. It made me a bit careful. A German friend who I worked with, stopped driving in Germany as he had the same name as one of the minor gang members and was at real risk of nervous reaction.
A
The French lot have looked at me a couple of times recently, no prob. But they are always armed( as is every policeman on the continent)
With the relaxing of boarder controls, the customs need a job. So I have been 'jumpt' several times within europe on the guess that I carry something taxable. Spain/ France is a common tabacco fraud.
Years ago, when in Norfolk, I was with a an air taxi outfit. One of our client a/c was in need of an engine overhaul. Bit odd, as it was not long on hours. Got a call from a guy who suggested that it was being used for illegal immigrants, having seen 5 guys of dark complexion jumping out of it at a local field. It was a 4 seater. Sort of explained the engine wear.