Cash seized in week of action at Birmingham Airport

West Midlands Police have seized over £70,000 in cash at Birmingham Airport as efforts were stepped up in a week of action to deter criminality.

The efforts were designed to highlight the close partnership between police and the airport as they work around the clock to keep travellers safe.

Policing the airport covers a range of issues, from general crime such as pickpocketing to making sure people are not being forced or coerced into travelling. Tackling terrorism is also of prime importance and part of everyday policing as the national threat remains at severe - police teams from the airport and West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit continued their close work throughout the week.

Daily operations took place with a particular emphasis on people carrying large amounts of cash which may have originated from proceeds of crime or destined to support terrorist activities.

Cash totalling £73,000 was seized throughout the week from individuals travelling abroad − in one instance, £30k of the cash was found hidden in nappies and on another occasion, over £20k was found in two separate suitcases. No-one has been arrested at this stage but investigations are ongoing.

Specialist police dogs − trained to detect large quantities of cash - were used to check hold and hand luggage as passengers queued at check-in desks. Travellers carrying large amounts of money are advised to have the correct supporting documentation such as bank statements to prove the authenticity of the cash. Inspector Chris Cotton, who manages the Airport Policing Unit for West Midlands Police, said:

“We work extremely closely with all areas of the airport , and passenger safety is paramount for us both. Our message is clear, if you come to Birmingham Airport to commit crime − we will find you and arrest you.

“This week has seen daily deployments around the entire airport with uniformed and plain-clothed police officers specially trained to identify anyone wanting to commit crime. They are supported by specialist police resources such as search dogs and armed officers. CCTV and vehicle checkpoints are also used to keep people safe and secure."

Bob Graham, Operations Director at Birmingham Airport added: “We fully support our on-site policing unit in its day to day activities and work actively with the team on initiatives. Our joint number one priority is to ensure that all passengers and visitors that visit the Airport feel safe and secure."

Anyone who sees anything that doesn’t feel right can report it directly to an officer, by email or - in an emergency - calling 999.

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