Welcome To Bath!

Visitors travelling through Bath Spa Station at the weekend were checked for alcohol, weapons and drugs as part of an initiative to crack down on city centre trouble.

Yes, you got that right. All visitors – not just those that might profile as suspect, as they mostly do when they set up these temporary scanning arches on Tube stations.

They’ve done this at my local Tube on a few occasions, and I’ve always been ignored and bypassed it. The same with the occasional passive detector dog for drugs searches at the bigger terminals.

But the accompanying photo shows all arrivals being funnelled through the thing…

An airport-style metal detector was set up in the station last Friday night and a team of special constables, joined by officers from the British Transport Police, searched visitors.

There was also a specially-trained sniffer dog looking for people with drugs.

And if no-one complains, they’ll take it upon themselves to do it again, and again, and again. But still, if they manage to stop drugs and weapons, it’ll be OK, right? I mean, they did stop drugs and weapons, didn’t they?

One man from Wales was arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs with intent to supply, while another was given a caution after being found with a quantity of cannabis for his own use.

Two others admitted using drugs earlier in the evening.

Crimes of the century, eh?

BTP Inspector Andy Irwin-Porter said the operation had been a success and they were looking at repeating it again in the future.

He said: “It was a successful joint operation that served to reassure people that they can feel safe and be safe when they come to enjoy a night out in Bath.

“Many of the problems in the city are caused by people visiting Bath for a night out, travelling into the city by train. They don’t have the same belonging and responsibilities towards those who live and work in the city and the effects that disorder brings to the reputation of a beautiful and historic place.”

Welcome to Britain 2012, where nothing says ‘Safe’ like a line of police scanning everyone for drugs and weapons. And where ‘outsiders’ are the ones that cause all trouble.

18 comments for “Welcome To Bath!

  1. October 7, 2011 at 9:39 am

    It was a successful joint operation

    So they just found the one? Not sure I’d call that successful


    • October 8, 2011 at 6:14 am


  2. john in cheshire
    October 7, 2011 at 10:15 am

    My interpretation of the exercise is that it showed that virtually everyone on the trains was law-abiding. Therefore, this incursion into peoples privacy is unnecessary and should never be repeated.

    • October 8, 2011 at 6:14 am

      But it will be.

  3. October 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I’d have walked out via the car park. You can reach it from the ends of the platforms. No need to go through the main entrance at all.

  4. October 7, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Bath? The one with the museums, spa and the other branch of Toppings bookshop? Hark, is that Jane Austin spinning in her grave.

    Presumably the point is that while any experienced officer can pick out the likely weapons carriers better than the sniffer dogs can find the drugs, if they did someone would whinge it was discrimination.

    Screen everybody and it cuts away that complaint, plus it requires a bus-load of officers to do what a three of them would have been able to managed previously.

    • October 8, 2011 at 6:16 am

      “…if they did someone would whinge it was discrimination.”

      Spot on. Even though, as Mark Wadsworth points out, we actually aren’t discrimination enough

  5. Jeremy Poynton
    October 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    Longrider. Yes – or got straight back on the next local to Oldfield and got off there.

  6. sovereigntea
    October 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Homeland Insecurity

    I wonder how much this all cost ?

  7. Sean O'Hare
    October 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    What I find so unbelievable about this is that anyone would attempt to go for a night out in Bath by train. I live near Chippenham, some 12 miles from Bath and the last train from Bath to Chippenham leaves at 22:43. The buses are a little better. I wonder whether they had plod at the bus station as well?

    • October 8, 2011 at 6:17 am

      Perhaps the bus station wasn’t as easy to cover (though noting Longrider’s point about the other exit).

  8. bollixed
    October 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Well, that’s Stalag Bath off my ‘places to visit’ list.

    Hope they try and do that in my home town. Bring it on!

  9. Ian
    October 7, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    A fine exercise in police statism, intended solely to test just how much fascism can be imposed on the people in future. Notice the lack of racist/islamophobic “profiling” in the choice of nearly-all-white Bath for the exercise? Very PC indeed.

    Our Europol masters (poised to take increasing control of our nearly-regionalised police forces, as per the Lisbon Treaty) will be most pleased that we have been softened up for them. Expect further oppression soon, just to drive the message home.

    • October 8, 2011 at 6:18 am

      Oh, I’m expecting it all right!

  10. The Travelling Toper
    October 10, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    The attached story states that special constables and BTP officers later went on to patrol pubs and nightclubs in Bath city centre. Do BTP constables have any jurisdiction on non railway property?

    • October 10, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      Interesting…! I didn’t think so.

  11. bilbaoboy
    November 3, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I’m from Bath, although I haven’t lived there for years.

    Bath is small, everybody has always known where the trouble was likely to be and who was going to cause it. I never had a problem despite having hair halfway down my back and looking like a hippy, ‘cos without being particularly streetwise, I knew where to go and where not to go.

    I cannot believe that they are wasting resources on such a stupid unnecessary exercise. And they wonder why we look skywards.

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