Isle of Man Airport Police
The Isle of Man Airport Police is staffed by thirteen sworn and warranted Constables, supervised by managers who are also warranted Constables (see below). Having completed training and been sworn-in by an Isle of Man Commissioner of Oaths, they receive warrant cards as sworn Constables, and assume the title of Aviation Security Officer. They hold the same authority and powers as a regular police officer whilst on (or near to) airport property. They are also authorised to act on behalf of the Coroner at the Airport when required.
Cover is provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, whether the airport is open or closed. Aviation Security Officers are fully integrated into the airport's staff structure, so that (unusually) the airport police has no management grades (Inspector or Superintendent), with sworn Constables carrying out the duties of their office on the ground, but reporting to managers who share their police powers. The managers of airport police officers are the Airport Duty Officers who hold the rank of Sergeant, and their effective Chief Officer is the Airport Director. Current Airport Director Ann Reynolds stated at the time of her appointment that the officers "provide first class policing for this major point of entry to our Island".
The Headquarters, and only police station, of the Isle of Man Airport Police is the Aviation Security Section Building on the Ronaldsway airport estate. From here officers patrol the "airport estate and adjacent areas".
Qualifications and duties
The stated qualifications required of an officer are:
- possession of a warrant as a Constable
- physical fitness
- literacy and numeracy
- possession of a category B driving licence
- good interpersonal skills
Duties are categorised in five groups:
- control and guard duties (controlling access, crowds, and vehicles)
- patrol duties by foot or vehicle (patrolling terminals, operational buildings, car parks, airfield, and boundaries)
- custodian duties (issuing of keys and identity cards, and management of lost property)
- escort and protection duties (in respect of VIP passengers, high-value cargoes, and government vehicles)
- general duties (including emergency incident procedures, radio operation, crime prevention & detection, exercising powers of arrest, liaising with other emergency services)
In 2009 David Pownall, who had been a sworn constable in the Isle of Man Airport Police for 17 years, was dismissed following charges of unprofessional conduct and falsifying records of his patrols. His appeal to a tribunal for unfair dismissal was subsequently upheld, despite his admission of falsifying records. Key evidence from several different aviation security officers, also supported by a petitioning letter from airport security officers, alleged a pattern of disruptive and bullying behaviour on the part of a named Airport Duty Officer (ADO). Another constable, Brian Kelly, gave evidence that in his opinion officers were being deliberately victimised and targeted for dismissal because they had stood up to bullying by the named ADO.
- "Aviation Security Officers Sworn In". Isle of Man Airport. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
- Open buildings report; see section "Security".
- "Aviation Security Team". BBC. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
- "Aviation Security Officer Job Description". Isle of Man Government, Dept of Transport. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
- Tribunal report at IOM Today.