1/15/2007Australia: Anti-Terror Program Used to Issue Parking Tickets
Anti-terror police have as a primary duty issuing speeding and parking tickets at Australian airports.
A new federal anti-terror police force in Australia is citing "terrorism" as the reason for issuing parking and speeding tickets at airports. The Airport Uniform Police (AUP), formed last year as part of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), are currently deployed to improve security at eleven airports.
"That's why we're here -- to provide that high visibility presence, to reassure the traveling public, and to deter and prevent criminal and terrorist-related activity," Superintendent Glenn Lathey, the federal police chief for Hobart Airport, wrote in a document on the AFP website.
As part of their "Counter Terrorism First Response" duties, these officers are issuing parking tickets and speeding citations at airports.
"Traffic enforcement, including issuing traffic infringements, forms part of the policing duties of the AUP," AFP spokesman Carmela Pavlic Searle told The Age newspaper. "It would not be unusual for a person who may be seeking to identify or exploit vulnerabilities at airports to loiter in or attempt to gain access to areas that are restricted, such as parking illegally near airport fence-lines."
Parking tickets have generated significant revenue for Australia's airports. Between July 2003 and June 2005, Melbourne Airport generated more than A$2 million and Sydney Airport A$1.5 million.