Parliament security chiefs working with cops on training programme for MSPs and staff on handling suspicious packages
HOLYROOD SECURITY TRAINING
MP, political party HQ and council building as well as two police bases were targeted within a matter of hours last month
HOLYROOD security chiefs are working with cops on a training programme on suspicious packages for MSPs after a spate of recent scares. An MP, political party HQ and council building as well as two police bases were targeted within a matter of hours last month with suspect packages in the mail.
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Police stationed outside Scottish Parliament
MSPs were put on alert1 after three items were delivered to SNP MP John Nicolson s office, a party base and an Angus Council building in 24 hours. Security officials at the Scottish Parliament sent advice to elected members after one of the packages was sent to the constituency office of Nicolson2 on Tuesday, May 25.
Now they are working with police to develop special training for MSPs and their staff on mail handling and suspicious packages.
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A Holyrood spokesman told the Scottish Sun: Parliament security staff are currently working with Police Scotland to develop a training package on mail handling and suspicious packages. Two days after the incident at Nicolson s office, cops revealed officers were scrambled to the Scottish Police Federation building in Glasgow and to the Scottish Police College, Tulliallan, Fife after packages were delivered there. Two packages containing white powder were also delivered to an Angus Council building in Forfar.
The Municipal Buildings on Castle Street were closed off despite police saying the package poses no immediate threat to the public.
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Police car outside Holyrood
The contents of the package were described as white powder type substances and are related to the upcoming snap election in June. Cops have launched a major probe into the incidents. An email from Holyrood head of security Becky Thomson was circulated around MSPs with advice from cops.
In the email, she said: Dear Members, between Tuesday and Wednesday, three suspicious mail packages containing a white powder type substance were sent to an elected official, a political party headquarters and a council building.
All packages were associated with the forthcoming UK general election . Police Scotland s enquiries into this matter are ongoing.
We enclose a letter from Police Scotland with some further advice regarding mail handling, suspicious packages and indicators of white powder .
We would be grateful if you would take the time to review this information and discuss with your local office staff . The same information has been issued to all elected representatives across Scotland.
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Her husband might have recently announced he was retiring from all public engagements from autumn this year but1, it appears Queen Elizabeth II isn’t taking her foot off the pedal anytime soon, both literally and metaphorically. On Sunday morning, the Queen was photographed behind the wheel of a Jaguar while driving from a Church service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Park. ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
Whizzing off in her ‘getaway vehicle’, the 91-year-old looked like a modern day Charlize Theron in The Italian Job (kind of), as she was snapped cruising through Windsor alongside her security guard, days after her grandson, Prince William, announced he was seeking damages and a ‘very significant fine’ from a French publication2 which published images of a topless Kate Middleton on holiday in 2012. Of course, it didn’t take long before the internet caught sight of The Queen behind the wheel and, basically lost its sh*t: ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
With a penchant for driving, ever since her days serving as a mechanic in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service during WWII, the Queen has been snapped on several occasions with the wind in her hair and she burns some serious rubber driving through the Scottish Highlands and around her six lavish royal residences. And who can forget that time the Queen reportedly jumped in the front seat to give the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia a driving tour around Balmoral Castle, knowing all too well women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia? If we could high-five the woman, we would.
In the Saudi ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles’s memoir, Ever the Diplomat, he brought this story to light, revealing:
- ^ he was retiring from all public engagements from autumn this year but (www.elleuk.com)
- ^ seeking damages and a ‘very significant fine’ from a French publication (www.elleuk.com)
If airport security measures weren t uncomfortable enough, TSA recently revealed they re making pat down procedures a little more invasive . A spokesperson told Bloomberg, I would say people who in the past would have gotten a pat-down that wasn t involved will notice that the new pat-down is more involved.
The TSA has warned airport officials, crew, and law enforcement that the new procedure may involve an officer making more intimate contact than before . If CNN correspondent Angela Rye s recent experience is any indication, yeah, the new procedure does sound a lot more involved2. The TSA doesn t get very detailed on what the new procedure will look like, but the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) sent a security notice to members that offered a vague description, according to Bloomberg:
Now security screeners will use the front of their hands on a passenger in a private screening area if one of the prior screening methods indicates the presence of explosives, according to a security notice that the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) sent its U.S . members following a March 1 conference call with TSA official. The TSA website doesn t give you much to go on3 in terms of options, either . They simply say: At any time during the process, you may request private screening accompanied by a companion of your choice . A second officer of the same gender will always be present during private screening.
Not very comforting, considering it s the same procedure, just in private. According to LegalMatch4, rejecting a pat down altogether will likely get you booted from the airport . It s worth noting that if you reject the full-body scanner, you ll get a pat down instead . That said, you can still get a pat down if you go through the full-body scanner. (Also, TSA can still reject your request5 if you d rather have a pat down and a scan, so that s not even necessarily an option). If you want to avoid a pat down, here s what one TSA agent told Reader s Digest6:
Don t wear shirts or pants with extraneous pockets, buttons, or zippers, or anything with sequined bling on it . These items tend to appear suspicious on the scanner, which is programmed to flag anything out of the ordinary. Of course, don t look suspicious is pretty ridiculous advice, but the TSA isn t exactly flexible, and their policies seem to only be getting more aggressive . If nothing else, these new procedures are something to be aware of next time you fly .
For more detail, head to the links below.
- ^ weren t uncomfortable enough, (lifehacker.com)
- ^ the new procedure does sound a lot more involved (www.cnn.com)
- ^ TSA website doesn t give you much to go on (www.tsa.gov)
- ^ According to LegalMatch (www.legalmatch.com)
- ^ TSA can still reject your request (www.latimes.com)
- ^ TSA agent told Reader s Digest (www.rd.com)
- ^ TSA Warns Local Police About Its New Airport Pat-Downs (www.bloomberg.com)
- ^ Consumerist (consumerist.com)