Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1360
WEDNESDAY 8 MAY 2002
1360. The problem about these situations is
always the further away you get from incidents you know what happens,
the complacency sets in. I take it from your earlier remarks you
feel that your industry has changed quite remarkably in its perceptions.
(Mr Hutcheson) I would say performance management
is something I have been particularly interested in for many years
and on joining BAA in 1997 I took all my previous experience with
me and I set about installing a performance management regime
within the security function. That is done through the use of
technology, it is done through the use of covert test programmes
that test virtually all of our security processes. The more critical
ones are tested more thoroughly than some of the less critical
1361. Okay, that is the motivational side on
that side of it but motivation is also about remuneration, about
how much people are paid. If you are paying them at whatever we
call it, the UK national average or below, or even a little bit
above, you are probably not getting the individuals you want.
Is that fair?
(Mr Hutcheson) I think that is slightly unfair because
we do pay above the market rate.
1362. How much above? What do we mean by "market
(Mr Hutcheson) I have got to be honest and say we
pay between £6 and £7 an hour, which is more than other
people pay, but that is not what people take home because they
get all the other benefits of working for BAA that are part of
the package. Together with overtime there is what I would say
is a reasonable wage.
1363. What is the turnover of security staff?
(Mr Hutcheson) The turnover is between six and ten
per cent within BAA, in America it is 110 per cent, so you can
draw some comparisons about aviation security.
Chairman: That gives an indication.
1364. Nonetheless I would like to see the figures
if you could produce them about what these people are being paid
because it seems to me to be crucial.
(Mr Hutcheson) I may have been inaccurate so I would
like to provide it in writing.
Chairman: I am sure if there is anybody on your
staff who listens to the radio broadcast they will be writing
in to us fairly swiftly to tell us what they get.
1365. When you reply on the wage structure can
you tell me how many hours they work. I am not interested in how
many hours you have got to work if it is overtime but I would
like to know what they are paid to do their normal 37 hour week.
(Mr Hutcheson) Yes.
1366. Just one other question because the Chairman
waded over everybody's questions at the beginning, including mine,
it is a slight repetition. I think I heard you say how many thousand
security passes had been withdrawn?
(Mr Hutcheson) 22,000.
1367. Was that as a result of an organised background
check or was this just a random exercise?
(Mr Hutcheson) It was a random exercise but it was
built on the basis of how long it was since people had used their
pass and on the basis that if they have not used it they no longer
1368. Unless I misunderstood what you have been
saying, do you not think you have to move to the next step?
(Mr Hutcheson) We have.
1369. You have. Could you just outline that?
(Mr Hutcheson) We have put in place new measures for
applying for a pass. The Government on 28 March made several recommendations.
We have introduced standards for proof of identity which are way
and above what is required within Government entities. We have
introduced a completely new system for applying for a pass and
how we check references. TRANSEC are about to issue a new direction
that further divides up the restricted zones so there will be
an even tighter area in the middle. Criminal checks for staff
who work in the inside area will be a requirement as soon as we
can work out a methodology for doing it and the Criminal Records
Bureau, which was only a live entity eight weeks ago, is able
to deal with the volume of work. We have completely restructured
the application form to include a photograph. We have completely
revamped the system so that it is much more stringent for people
to get a pass. A lot of this work was in train anyway post 11
September and I think the incidents at Heathrow merely expedited
1370. And this applies, of course, to all new
applicants but what about existing pass holders?
(Mr Hutcheson) There is a big issue about that because
employment law makes it illegal to do retrospective checks.
1371. Which law is that?
(Mr Hutcheson) I am not sure of the Act and section.
Chairman: Please find out.
Mr Roy: We have the Rehabilitation of
Chairman: We will send the transcript to you
so you can look through what we are asking you for.
1372. So you have examined this issue for existing
staff and you have had to say "we cannot progress"?
(Mr Hutcheson) No, we have not given up yet. We have
asked lawyers for legal opinion because there are two ways of
doing it, you either include it as part of a requirement for employment
or you require it as part of an application for an air side pass.
It could be discriminatory and we clearly do not want to do anything
that is illegal so we have asked could we do it retrospectively
on renewal and we are waiting for legal advice. I will include
a note on what the relevant statutes are.
1373. Finally, Mr Hutcheson, as we are producing
a report in the next six weeks it would be quite helpful if you
could give us some additional information because applicants for
jobs have human rights but passengers on aircraft have human rights
as well, the right to be able to arrive the other side without
being blown up. I do not think too many people would be too critical.
Something that has interested me for a long time is the private
security industry and at least legislation will impose standards
upon you that you are going to have to adhere to anyway and certainly
access to criminal records will be one of the requirements placed
(Mr Hutcheson) I am not sure that the Private Security
Bill actually applies to aviation security. I think that will
be dealt with separately because it was felt that aviation security
was already regulated by the Government and the Department of
Transport, hence the listing of security companies under the Aviation
1374. Thank you very much. I hope I have time
to alter that paragraph in my book. I am not sure that you are
(Mr Hutcheson) That is my understanding, I may well
Chairman: I hope you are wrong.
1375. Without going into all the detail about
those two recent robberies at what certainly used to be called
"thief row", quite clearly it has done an awful lot
of damage to public confidence of your security at Heathrow. You
have told us some of the measures that you have taken since those
two robberies and you implied that consideration of these additional
measures were already under way before these two robberies took
place. Can you tell us whether there are any other measures that
you are taking apart from those you have told us about, the new
measures on applying for passes, the restricted zones being redefined
and the problem of existing pass holders, which I think we would
like to address? Is there anything else that you are doing? You
could use this forum to reassure the public that BAA recognises
the gravity of the situation and is determined to do something
(Mr Hutcheson) We are making much greater use of CCTV
and we have established a working party with the police to look
at other measures. I cannot go into details but I think there
is strong evidence to suggest that there was no breach of security.
You can draw your own conclusions from my statement that there
was no breach of security. There are two distinct areas here.
One is about the measures that are in place to prevent terrorism
which may not necessarily prevent some crimes. The aviation security
programme has been drawn up purely to deal with the sabotage and
hijacking of aircraft, it was not drawn up to deal with thefts
within a workplace.
1376. No, but the point is if some people by
whatever means can get access air side to nick four million quid's
worth of notes they can get access to an aeroplane and therefore
they could, if their intention was so to do,
(Mr Hutcheson) You are making an assumption in that
statement that they did not have any right to be there.
Mr Howarth: No, I am not making that assumption.
Chairman: I think Mr Hutcheson has said
quite a lot there, so we will move on.
1377. We are now in the minority, Chairman,
you realise that. DTLR issued an announcement in March saying
about CCTV "Over the next few months CCTV coverage in all
airports will be reviewed and plans produced for improvements
in both the amount and quality of coverage" and that will
change from airport to airport. It sounds very good and everybody
gets very pleased that we will have a change but David Veness,
who I think is the Assistant Commissioner
(Mr Hutcheson) Special Operations, New Scotland Yard.
1378. A very competent man. He was not very
impressed by what he saw of CCTV coverage. Can the public be confident
that major UK airports have better CCTV coverage than the average
town centre? We find that the problem in town centres is the screens
are not being washed to see something going on or it is not being
recorded or otherwise. With so many screens in a city centre that
is understandable, airports must be limited. Can we be assured
that airport CCTV coverage is as good as it ought to be?
(Mr Hutcheson) I would refute that there is less CCTV
coverage at airports than there is in the average High Street
in terms of totality of systems. I do not think there is any evidence
to support that statement. What I would say is that many of the
systems have been put in for bespoke purposes and they may not
necessarily carry out a crime prevention role. I think the first
piece of work to do, and we have actually done it, is to carry
out an audit of all the existing CCTV systems at the airport and
who owns them, Customs have CCTV, Immigration has CCTV, Special
Branch has CCTV, the Airport Authority has CCTV. There is a clear
need to integrate the existing systems and also upgrade them where
necessary. Gaps, such as the exit points from Heathrow have been
identified, and we are currently trying different systems on the
exits at Heathrow to identify which is the best . If you are going
to have a national standard you have to make sure that the technical
specification is correct and one of the best ways of establishing
a standard is to actually trial it in real life and that is exactly
what we are doing. Simultaneously we are working together with
the police, Customs and Immigration to draw up a national standard
for airport CCTV.
1379. There must be gaps in coverage, which
you can understand where cameras do not screen a particular area,
but are the camera images sufficiently clear to identify individuals?
(Mr Hutcheson) That is part of the audit work that
we have carried out and where the images they are not sufficiently
clear we will replace the parts of the technology necessary to
make sure that they are clear. One of the areas where it is very
difficult to have CCTV coverage is in the air side area where
you have actually got very large aeroplanes moving around. If
we go back to the incidents that we are not really talking about,
both of those occurred very close to sides of large aircraft so
CCTV may not have been a solution in those incidents.
Chairman: Two five minute spots now, no more,
and I promise I will not intervene. One is on the role of the
military and one is on funding.