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IMS EMEA Newsletter Issue 1 - December 2009

Industry Insight - Integration at the borders

Vol1 1from Brendan Gallagher

The threat of terrorism has brought extra urgency to the effort to implement electronic borders around the world. There are other drivers too – notably the need to control illegal immigration and combat international organised crime.

These imperatives have been evident for a long time now, and there's growing evidence that the emerging e-borders are beginning to make their mark. But benefits are also being felt in another arena, one that the policymakers and system designers may not necessarily have anticipated.

In the middle of this decade ARINC supported the UK Border Agency's Project Semaphore, which set out to prove the concept of advance passenger information (API) to British satisfaction. During the trial period around 30 million passengers were processed, resulting in around 2,000 arrests for various infractions. The UK is now implementing a £1.2 billion operational programme and is finding that it is not only helping to shield the country from external threats but is also facilitating the arrest of home-grown defaulters and criminals.

The most recent figures show that since 2005 the new arrangements have led to more than 4,200 arrests for serious crimes that included murder, kidnap, rape, assault and fraud. In one example, police arrested a man about to board a flight who was wanted for theft and burglary. A search of his house revealed the body of his partner and he was charged with murder.

Also being caught in the electronic net are sex offenders who break their restrictions by travelling, and individuals evading fines or defaulting on child maintenance payments.

Meantime, the system is meeting the primary requirement – identifying incoming undesirables so that they can be refused leave to enter the country, countering the smuggling of drugs and tobacco, and interdicting the use of forged passports.

The e-borders systems that ARINC develops and integrates are playing a growing part in the campaign to keep terrorism at bay. It's possible to hope that one day that war might be won. But “ordinary” crime, affecting large numbers of people year in and year out, is a fact of life. In an unexpected but fortunate turn, electronic borders are helping to bring more and more criminals to justice.

 

 

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Vol1 2smallARINC - fighting fit at 80

As the end of its 80th year approaches, ARINC is in good health and more than ready to handle the challenges still posed by the global economic downturn.

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