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Which UK airport has the most passenger arrests?

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As you can imagine, our inboxes overflow daily with the results of spurious ‘surveys’ and ‘research findings’, all conducted by companies who think they can get a bit of cheap publicity. We delete virtually all of them.

This one, though, made me sit up with its sheer originality and I felt we should share it.

Which UK airport has the most passenger arrests? Where are you most likely to find shoplifters, pickpockets and people keen to commit assault?

Here are the results. Note that Scottish airports are excluded because Police Scotland refused to co-operate with the enquiry. Would that have changed the results?

Yes, it is the people of South Yorkshire who won the ‘top crims’ award for 2019-2021.

The top offences at Doncaster Sheffield were shoplifting, theft, and ‘assault without injury’. The good news is that the crime statistics in Doncaster as a whole are now likely to drop following the closure of the airport at the end of the month …..

Over at Birmingham, potentially due to the greater number of long haul flights, the top cause of arrest was passengers trying to do a runner having had a warrant issued against them.

Leeds Bradford picks up the third spot due to a substantial number of violent attacks inside the terminal, which was the No 1 cause of arrest. It also scores highly for fraud-related arrests

The study was put together by luggage storage company Bounce. Freedom of Information Act requests were made to the relevant police forces serving each mainland airport for the period 2019 – 2021. Police Scotland did not provide any data. As this covers periods of covid closure, the ‘arrests per million passengers’ number is more relevant than the total number of arrests.

Comments (52)

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  • can says:

    Meh, Bristol is not even in top 10!

  • Stu says:

    According to crew on our Jet2 flight a couple of weeks back, their least favourite routes for anti-social behaviour in the air is anywhere in Turkey with Dalaman being top of the list. Antalya and Bodrum running close behind …

    • TimM says:

      My least favourite UK airline is Jet2, taking over the mantle from Thomas Cook and, on their longest routes to Turkey, it is hardly a surprise that they experience more ‘anti-social behaviour’ – it is just a normal human reaction to the inhumane conditions passengers are kept in for five hours or more, deprived of legroom or any semblance of comfort, of sleep and the constant harassment through automated announcements and in-your face-sales. It is like staff complaining about their least favourite torture facility.

  • Paul says:

    Yes, it is the people of South Yorkshire who won the ‘top crims’ award for 2019-2021.

    Can I just state what I hope is obvious. Being arrested does not make you a criminal. That requires either pleading guilty or being found guilty in a court.

    A small but vitally important point as it’s the basis of our legal system

  • A Traveller says:

    HfP increasingly resembles a tabloid.

    In addition to all the things others have pointed out as being wrong with this article, there are fundamental statistical errors too.

    Will it be taken down in the interests of factual reporting?

    Nope. Clicks are all that matter.

    • Rob says:

      Not sure if you noticed, but we no longer run any Google ads on HfP. All ads are sold by ourselves, for fixed weekly rates. We couldn’t care less from a revenue perspective about the numbers day to day.

      There are also zero affiliate links in that article, so it generates zero cash for us.

  • Martin says:

    Worth pointing out that some airports will have more passengers who are residents of the UK database surveillance police state than others. I doubt outstanding warrants for minor offences committed in third countries will appear on Border Force systems.

    At Heathrow, many international to international transfer passengers will not pass a UK Border Force checkpoint. I suspect Interpol alerts, that UK police and Border Force rely on, are for serious crimes such as murder and not outstanding petty offences.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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