Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do?


Ever wondered why it is you got targeted at customs while the long-haired hippie backpacker slid right on through? An excellent article entitled, “Cold targeting: the front line” gives readers inside access to the jobs of customs officers trained in ” observational and psychological techniques to recognise the out of place, the unusual” including dresses where the buttons were slightly too large (full of heroin), a group of men who all wore the same style of shoes (also carrying drugs) and a bodybuilder who had a pouchy stomach (was wearing strapped on narcotics). According to the article, they have “a pretty good idea about 90 per cent of the people who come through, so we know who we want to look at. There is a lot of information that we have before people arrive, so it’s not just a gut feeling.” Something to keep in mind the next time you’re waiting for your baggage and shifting anxiously from foot to foot.

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