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Essential Tools for Border Security and Customs


The European open border policy, introduced by the Schengen Agreement in 1985, has undeniably been a great benefit to both the movement of people and free trade. But Brexit means that everything is about to change. Regardless of whether or not a trade agreement is reached, the UK will leave the single market and the customs union on the 31st December. The British Border Force along with HM Customs and Excise face significant challenges to keep people and goods moving in and out of the UK while at the same time maintaining a high level of security. Additional visa requirements will mean more immigration checks at air and sea ports and it’s estimated that the number of customs declarations with increase enormously from 60 million to 300 million a year.

It’s clear that those tasked with keeping our country safe and secure will be under a great deal of pressure, controlling immigration and checking goods in transit. They will need all the help they can get so we’d like to highlight a few of our primary product lines, widely used and appreciated by border security operatives and customs officers around the world.

Making Random Selections

A challenge faced when engaged in searching and inspecting people, baggage, cars and trucks is making truly random selections. Humans are very bad at making random choices as we are all subject to bias, even when we think we aren’t. While we might convince ourselves that we are making random selections - we simply can’t.

The possibility of being accused of discrimination or favouritism, when randomly selecting people, vehicles or bags for thorough inspection, needs to be avoided. The trick is to remove the operative’s influence on the selection process and thereby remove the potential for bias. This can be achieved using our Random Search Selectors.

Random Search Selectors

Our Random Search Selectors take the human element out of the selection process, thereby avoiding any potential accusations of bias. The device is easily configured by setting a selection percentage from 0.5% to 100%, and operation is incredibly simple. When the big red button is pressed the device randomly returns either ‘Search’ or ‘Pass’ directive to the operator relieving them of the responsibility to make random selections.

random search selector
Random Search Selector


These handy devices are now widely used in situations where people, goods, baggage and vehicles need to be randomly selected for security screening and customs checks. Random selection is commonly used in security screening processes as it maintains the deterrent level while enabling efficient throughput and avoiding the build up of queues. These invaluable devices are available in both mains powered and battery powered models, robustly constructed, easy to use and very reliable.

Here are some of the comments received from our valued customers regarding their Random Search Selectors:

“...the Random Search Selectors are working well, thank you Insight.”

Great to hear that our Random Search Selectors worked well for this valued client.

"Impressed with the product and the service and delivery was excellent - well done!"

We always endeavour to exceed customer expectations. Great to hear that our service is appreciated.

"Very pleased with the Random Search Selector-Mains Powered Unit. We have forwarded it to our sister company"

Another customer - very happy with their mains powered Random Search Selector which is wonderful to hear.

Search and Inspection

Having made random selections of people, baggage, goods or vehicles the next stage in security or customs screening often involves search and inspection. People and their luggage must be thoroughly vetted quickly and effectively. Vehicles must also be inspected and thoroughly searched and the magnitude of these demands is only likely to increase due to Brexit.

Security Search and Inspection Mirrors

The ability to carry out thorough searches both quickly and effectively is vital for those working at our borders. Vehicles, large and small, must be examined both inside and out and goods-in-transit must also be rigorously checked.

Our extensive selection of high quality search and inspection mirrors are already assisting those engaged in these daily operations. Trolley mirrors, for example, save an awful lot of back-ache when examining the underside of automobiles, essential for security. Some are available with useful lighting to illuminate areas under inspection which would otherwise be in shadow. We also offer trolley mirrors with telescopic handles making them highly portable and easy to store.

under vehicle search trolley mirror with lights
Under Vehicle Search and Inspection Trolley Mirror


Our range of portable inspection mirrors on telescopic arms, some of which are equipped with torches to illuminate areas under inspection, are also very popular. These ultra-useful inspection mirrors are vital tools for customs officers, providing visibility into hard-to-reach areas and speeding the search and inspection process.

Security Metal Detectors

The UK MI5 Security Service has classified the current national terrorist threat level as severe. Keeping our borders safe and secure under these circumstances is very challenging for those tasked with this responsibility.

Various types of security metal detectors are now commonly used to perform security screening of people. Many of us will have experienced the use of these devices as part of the security screening processes at airports, venues and in other locations.

Security metal detectors fall into two main categories, walk-through metal detectors and handheld metal detectors.

Walk-Through Knife Arch Security Metal Detectors

Walk-through metal detectors are sometimes called knife arches, archway metal detectors or airport metal detectors. These metal detector arches are ideal for situations where a high volume of people need to be thoroughly screened very quickly, which is why they are used extensively at transport hubs and airports.

High quality archway metal detectors are able to efficiently carry out head-to-toe metal detection and even pinpoint the location of any detected metal objects, speeding the throughput of people. But they are large machines which makes them primarily suitable for static installations.

However, portable walk-through metal detectors are now available. These can be easily assembled and disassembled for transportation and storage, making them ideal for outdoor events or other situations where a temporary security screening capability is needed or where existing facilities need to be bolstered.

Handheld Metal Detector Wands

Often used alongside walk-through metal detector arches, handheld metal detector wands provide optimum portability. Models vary in design, size and sensitivity and there are now metal detector sensor mitts which, instead of emitting an alarm signal, vibrate to alert the operator when metal is detected. This makes the mitts highly suitable for use in noisy environments and in situations where alerting the person under inspection is not desirable.

Be Prepared

When engaged in operations involving the transit of high volumes of people, vehicles and goods, efficiency is key. But it’s vitally important not to compromise security and safety in order to meet throughput demands. Careful consideration and planning, making certain the required resources, skills and capabilities are in place where they are needed, is absolutely vital. We believe that our ranges of random selection tools, search and inspection mirrors along with our security metal detectors provide exactly what’s needed to keep people, products and vehicles moving while maintaining safety and security.

If you need help in selecting the right tools for your security, search and inspection operations please give us a call on 01273 475500. We are always happy to help.

This message was added on Thursday 19th November 2020

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