More Police at Heathrow to deal with immigration queues

Half-mile long immigration queues at Heathrow airport have led to frustration and anger this week, with some passengers attempting to push their way past UK Border control officers.

Extra police are being drafted into Heathrow after passengers fed up with waiting in long queues tried to push past UK Border desks without getting their passports checked.

There are also reports that some officers have been subject to racist abuse and also slow hand-clapping by passengers waiting in line.

The Immigration Services Union has told the Daily Telegraph that queues at the airport, which have been up to half-a-mile long in recent days, were frustrating passengers. Heathrow has not commented on how many extra police will be drafted in, and where they will all be located, but there will definitely be a stronger police presence around the arrivals hall.

Immigration Minister Damian Green has said that “fast track lanes” for “trusted visitors” including Americans and those arriving from some of the largest Commonwealth countries will be set up at Heathrow to help speed up UK Border lines. The pilot scheme should help cut queue times, although it won’t be tested prior to the Olympics because a similar scheme failed previously, because visitors were confused about which queue they should be in.

As Britain prepares for a huge influx of visitors prior to and during the Olympics, Mr Green has, however, given his word that all immigration desks at Heathrow will be fully manned for London 2012.