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UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

nadger
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UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

to do their actual job properly  Cry
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20536551
EU cross border shopping rules mean that one can bring back excise goods for personal use and that there are no actual limits.
When we do our 6 monthly shopping trip I need to carry a folder of information in case we are stopped. It even includes atm slips and bank statements to show how I can afford to spend £1k in an afternoon.
Perhaps that's where Comet went wrong as they were asking people to prove they could afford a new home cinema.
Fortunately all that was said to us when we did trip to Belgium two weeks ago was " Hello" and "Thank you" as border agent was too busy chatting to her colleague  Smiley
16 REPLIES
itsme
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

What has UKBA got to do with shopping?
nadger
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

UKBA/BF, or whatever name they now operate under, are the people that ask you what goods you are bringing back into UK.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_Border_Force
At Coquelles ( Channel Tunnel) they scan passports and normally ask about where you've been and what you've purchased. They may then ask one to pull over  and one gets questioned and possibly car gets stripped and searched.
I know that they were supposed to have been separated in March this year but it's impossible to know who you're actually dealing with.
Obviously innocent shoppers are an easy target as they don't tend to know the rules. Very easy to get accused of smuggling.
itsme
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

I have never been asked by a UKBA personnel when my passport is checked about shopping. But my point of entry over the last few years have been confined to airports and immigration and customs still seem to run independently.
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

I've been travelling through the Chunnel ever since it opened, many times a year.
I've yet to see anything more than a wave through!
Geoff,
York.
itsme
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

When I was using it about 10 years ago I seemed to be pulled over every time. This was leaving the UK never stopped on entry.
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

Only ever been on a ferry once (Dover) and that was an odd experience. We were stopped on our way out to France by customer / UKBA /. Whatever... They directed our car into a big warehouse which felt rather strange. Inside there was a walk through metal detector, x-ray machine etc. We were the only car in there and all our stuff went through the x-ray detectors while we had 'fun' with the walk through metal detector. By the time I'd finished begging for a ride through the x-ray machine so I could see my own bones the chief whip couldn't stop laughing and they ordered us out asap lol. They think they can be a pita? They have no idea what a pita is until they've met me Cheesy
Strangely at France there were no checks arriving or departing and no checks when we got back to the UK either.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
nadger
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

Quote from: NedLudd
I've yet to see anything more than a wave through!
Coquelles is the only place on French soil where there is a UK customs post. All the other ports are immigration checks only.
Been taking car to France for 47 years but recently they seem to have toughened up at Coquelles - you now go through passport and customs immediately after check-in.
On 14th we saw a woman's car completely emptied with contents strewn over shed floor. Possibly why we went straight through as they were busy.
We got pulled twice with previous car and I still wonder if it was because it had Dover dealer plates which they may have spotted on cameras.
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

Maybe we just fit the profile for being checked out!  Wink
Geoff,
York.
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

The best way to deal with these Border Force people is to tell them in a loud clear voice that they are self-important jobs worths' who would be better employed sweeping the streets and that they are deliberately picking on you. When they ask a question of you be sure to ask why they need that information.

Edit: Mood added  Wink
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

Reminds me of a funny incident years ago when we had been on a coach trip to Paris. On the return journey the coach stopped at customs and everyone had to show their passport, one chap who held an American passport was asked to follow the customs officer into a nearby office, a few minutes later there were a few loud bangs and some wag on the coach said " They've shot him".
A Few minutes later he returned to the coach and we were on our way. Smiley
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

Quote from: AlaricAdair
The best way to deal with these Border Force people is to tell them in a loud clear voice that they are self-important jobs worths' who would be better employed sweeping the streets and that they are deliberately picking on you. When they ask a question of you be sure to ask why they need that information.

They exist to do a job. Whether or not they do the job is down to their leaders but I don't think shouting at the staff following orders from some incompetant idiot somewhere higher up the chain will help. If they pull you over they are doing the job (for once) so I don't think its right to give them a hard time. The only time I do disagree with them is when they seize peoples property for no good reason - there was a woman who had a brand new car seized years ago with no explanation and they refused to hand it back. Apart from that, I'm grateful that they try to stop drugs being smuggled in along with people who shouldnt be here.. again when they actually do their work anyway.
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nadger
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

It doesn't pay to get too stroppy with customs albeit some of them are power crazed jobsworths.
A year ago I got told, by a 30 year old kid, that he could ask me any questions he liked. Questions like " do you work?" and " if not how do you get your money?" don't make a lot of sense to a 76 year old  Wink
When we got round to the subject of carrying firearms the conversation to a turn for the worse, from his angle. I couldn't resist saying that I'd held a Met Police firearm certificate before he was born  Smiley
This experience really made me bone up on customs regs so that I'm fully prepared for any future stop.
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

If you get stroppy they could keep you there for ages and I doubt there is little you could do about it as they would simply say they were being, 'thorough' if you decided to complain at a later date.
I Don't have any problem with people doing their job but there are ways in which it can be done and some people are clearly not suited to the work they do, one example was our return flight to Manchester Airport, 2 planes came in at the same time, early morning and a long queue, non EU passengers had their own queue and they were all through in less than 5 minutes the rest of us were in a long queue and fortunately we were near the front but it took 30 minutes before we were through and the customs official checking passports had a face on her a mile long, nothing about have you had a good holiday, good morning or anything else except a glare on her face. Arriving in other countries we were normally met with reasonable passport control staff.
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Re: UKBA too busy picking on innocent shoppers

See I'm the total opposite. I don't worry about them as on the rare occassion I travel I'm usually so short on cash I can't afford to bring much back anyway other than a box of choccies  Wink
Seriously, at Stanstead once, I got so fed up with a queue for something (might of been my partner being held up actually) I went over to the UKBA bloke and asked him if I could sit on the chair next to him. He looked really shocked like he couldn't believe that someone would volunteer to be near one of them. We ended up having a bit of a chat and a laugh and when done he just waived us through towards the exit (naturally I also asked if we could be searched for a laugh lol).
Like I said, I also had a good time with the guys down at Dover a few years back too. I can't help it I'm afraid.. I bump into officers trying to do a job and can't help but try to have fun. You imagine a grown adult begging for a ride through the x-ray machine on the conveyer belt (and the possible safety implications) lol... they couldn't wait to get rid of us  Grin (and no I didn't get my ride  Sad).
Got tugged by a rozzer once on a motorway up north for no insurance (a MID booboo). By the time I was through with him he was demanding I get out of his car so he could get away (you should of seen his face when I demanded a receipt, producer or bumper sticker to prove that I'd been tugged   Cheesy).
You don't have to like them to annoy them so much they want you out of their way  Wink
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!