Well Done To Doncaster Airport Border Force

Yes, you read that right ... l did say 'well done'. The officers on duty last night ignored one of their colleagues (there's always one isn't there?) who was not happy about the interview being recorded by the couple they had just stopped. Furthermore, they were courteous and professional throughout and tried no' trickery' whatsoever. In truth, they conducted the interview with the presumption of innocence that one should expect in a democracy. After the interview concluded (they didn't try to split the couple up for separate interviews), not only did they let the couple continue with their goods (10.000 cigarettes) but they also gave them a copy of the contents of the actual notebook that the couple could use should they be stopped on a future cross-border shopping expedition.

This post isn't about the couple coming away with their goods, it's about how there is a right and a wrong way for Border Force Officers to conduct themselves and the interviews. These officers got it right and for that we say .... 'Well Done!'


  1. "Well done" indeed! But why do I have the feeling that the story isn't complete...the account is missing a very salient detail?

    Namely; how come the couple knew to record the interview? Could it be that they have been handed an N2D card or are they one of the small band of fortunate Shoppers who informed themselves before their trip by reading here?

  2. The couple did indeed receive information from N2D on how to protect themselves. Interestingly, the couple never got chance to state "We are recording this interview" as they were asked immediately by the BF Officers if they were being recorded.

    We believe we were also referred to, not as N2D but 'THAT website'. We'll take it as that refers to us. :)

  3. "but 'THAT website'. "

    I can think of no higher praise...unintended but praise never-the-less. The 'small blog' that is really making a difference.

    SH, your work here is done :P

    1. Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.

  4. I am shitting myself. My wife and I have been taking 2 or 3 breaks in Spain for several years, which has included stocking up on our tobacco. This has never been a problem.

    This year, we decided to take more breaks, long weekends in the UK. Of course, we need to stock up on tobacco from Europe, so we have booked a long weekend which is soon. It is actually a coach trip to Folkestone, which includes hotel accomodation, a trip to Canterbury, and a trip to Bruges.

    We are going to stock up with tobacco in Bruges, and this is where I get scared. It seems that it is the ferry people, especially coach trips, which are a target. I am ready with my fully charged mobile for recording, refusal to sign a notebook, and not allowing me and my wife to be separated. If we are questioned, I will keep calm, and not enter the afray guns blazing. I am however worried about my wife. I am retired(semi) as a professsional which includes teaching. My wife however, is a fully employed civil servant in the prison service, so wants to avoid any confrontation where she is being questioined as to her integrity, ie, buying tobacco for her own use.

    This is why I am shitting myself.

    1. Timbone ... if you write to us we'll give you advice catered specifically for your circumstances. l would certainly get a personal digital recorder though and not depend entirely on your mobile phone. Set it recording well before the customs procedure (they record 8hrs + easily) and then put it in your top pocket etc. Customs never search your person. The recorder is useful for everyday life too but we can't stress strongly enough the need to have one for cross-border shopping, lt's invaluable.

      Also you must remember they operate under Civil Law and not Criminal Law so nothing will be entered on Police databases.

      Don't be afraid, just be prepared. Think of it as insurance, you probably won't need it but it's there if you do.

  5. Timbone, I 'feel your pain'. My wife is mentally ill (20 odd years...and some of them very bloody odd..of marriage to me has turned her into a basket case). A 'bad' customs interview has the clear potential to put her back 'inside' under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act and needing her brain fried with several thousand volts.

    I'm sure SH can and will give you the right advice but in the meantime:

    As you are going by ferry might i suggest that you get off the coach/ferry separately? She to walk through the 'Sked Shed' before you and not to be carrying any tobacco?

    Or if you are stopped together she could make full use of her right to leave/not stop for interview-assuming the tobacco is in your name/was bought solely by you? "My husband has purchased tobacco for his own use, I have nothing to do with it and cannot and will not answer any questions about it". These days the law insists that a husband and wife are separate legal and financial entities. You have no right, for example, to know the state of your wife's bank account.

  6. SH and All the others must take credit for this. The customs were forced into complieng. In Scotland still part of the UK, THEY MAINTAIN they would do nothing to protect the rights and Civil Liberties of the individuaL
    "I WADDEN LET NOBODY RECARD MA VOICE" Said Assistnt Burnside or Brown in her Norn Irlund working class accent
    Maybe change her name to BURNTHETOAST BLACK Anyway she told the Judge she would never, ever comply with the instructions she was given.

  7. Hull on Tuesday

    The officer asked if we'd like to place recorder on desk so the mike picked up the conversation better!!!
    They've obviously had instructions.



"In the eyes of the Tribunal the review letter contained several preconceptions, prejudgments and non-sequiturs"

"the absurdity of this reason is demonstrated by simply stating it"

"We therefore find that Mr Sked misdirected himself as to the Policy in carrying out the review and his decision is therefore one that no reasonable review officer could have arrived at."

... commonly known here at N2D as 'Skeds' ... that is to say these are Judges comments regarding UKBA Review Officer Ian Sked's reasons for rejecting peoples appeals against seizures.

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