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Police and staff at Gatwick Airport launch crackdown on bad behaviour

Picture credited to Gatwick Police

Police and staff at one of the UK's major transport hubs have launched a campaign to tackle bad behaviour.

The project at Gatwick Airport is aimed at reminding passengers to 'behave and fly responsibly', to try and stop disorder from having an impact on flights.

Project Disrupt will see Police and staff work together to try and reduce the number of incidents at the airport and on board aircraft, ahead of the busy summer season. 

A total of 379 incidents of disruption were reported to police during the summer campaign in 2018, representing just 0.001 per cent of all passengers.

Of those reports, a total of 77 passengers were refused carriage.

In addition, 56 passengers were arrested for offences including being drunk and disorderly (before getting on board an aircraft), being drunk on board an aircraft, assault and endangering an aircraft – up from 48 in 2017.

Airlines have a right to refuse to carry passengers they consider to be a potential risk to the safety of their aircraft, its crew or its passengers.

Any individual convicted of being drunk on board an aircraft could face a maximum fine of £5,000 and two years in prison.

Inspector James Biggs, from Sussex Police's Gatwick Prevention Team, said:

“While the vast majority of passengers are well-behaved, and travel through the airport and arrive at their destination without a problem, there is a very small minority who ruin it for themselves and for others.

“By engaging with passengers at the earliest opportunity – through patrols, face to face contact by Police and airport staff and the distribution of posters and leaflets – we are making them fully aware of the rules and their own responsibility.

“Passengers could be refused carriage if they are considered to be drunk, disorderly or disruptive.

“We are not out there with the intention to arrest people or ruin their holiday; we want all passengers to travel through Gatwick safely and smoothly.

“We are fully committed to working with Gatwick Airport to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.”

Nikki Barton, Head of Stable Operations, Gatwick Airport, said:

“Only a tiny minority of Gatwick’s 46 million annual passengers are disruptive, but we are determined to do what we can to stamp out this sort of behaviour.

“A range of measures including working collaboratively with our airlines and the police to encourage early reporting and targeted intervention appear to be working. We are, however, introducing further measures to prevent more serious incidents of disruptive behaviour from occurring on board aircraft, and this year a new streamlined reporting and recording process should help us to respond and deal with incidents as they occur on the airport.

“It remains vital that the public are aware of the serious consequences of being disruptive while at an airport or on an aircraft.”

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