Faced with the challenges posed by increasingly smart criminals, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is gearing up to train its personnel to deal with the offenders more effectively in the 58 airports across the country, where it handles the security.
Towards this end, a four-day training programme began at the National Industrial Security Academy (NISA) in the presence of two security training consultants from the United Kingdom, Mary Winchester and Simon Bolt. The duo will participate in a ‘Training the trainers' programme for four batches of 40 CISF personnel each.
Additional Director-General of CISF (Airport Sector) M.S. Bali said that with terrorists forever making attempts to hijack/sabotage flights, there was the need for superior technology. Although this could make a vast difference in the way security personnel could operate effectively, other issues had to be considered. They could be broadly categorised into ethical issues concerning the privacy of air travellers, their health too, if body scanners were used, the cost of scanning equipment and the manpower.
At the same time, it had to be ensured that passengers were cleared without delay. “As it is, passengers are getting irritated over the delays at airports. Given the increasing volume of passenger traffic in India, we need to take decisions taking these issues into consideration,” Mr. Bali said.
Asked whether whole body scanners would be introduced at airports, Mr. Bali said both health and privacy issues were coming in the way. Although they would like to do it from a security perspective, he said practical considerations had to be looked into. He said the current training programme was a follow-up initiative after a CISF team visited the UK in the year 2005.