Criminologist urges boost airport security: More police, scanners, K-9 units

EXPERTS have pointed out the need for heightened security measures including an increase in police presence, installation of scanners and deployment of K-9 units in response to recent security concerns following an incident at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Criminologist Datuk Shahul Hamid Abdul Rahim stressed the importance of deploying more police officers to patrol areas frequented by civilians at the airport. He highlighted that unlike auxiliary policemen, trained officers possess the expertise to identify potential criminal activities and effectively handle such situations.

The former KLIA immigration operations chief also recommended the installation of scanners at all entrances to the arrival and departure halls to deter the smuggling of prohibited items particularly weapons.

The urgency for enhanced security measures comes in the wake of an alarming incident at Terminal 1 of KLIA.

In the early hours of Sunday (April 14), a man armed with a pistol opened fire, fortunately missing his intended target but seriously injuring her bodyguard. The suspect managed to flee the scene but was later apprehended in Kelantan after three days.

Moreover, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook has announced plans for a meeting involving the police, National Security Council, and Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd to discuss strategies for bolstering security at KLIA.

Supporting the call for enhanced security, airport operations and flight management expert Wan Mazlina Wan Mohamed suggested the utilisation of K-9 units to detect weapons and explosives.

“Dogs are also quicker than humans when there is a need to pursue a suspect,” FreeMalaysiaToday quoted the UiTM Malaysia Institute of Transport director as saying.

Mazlina also advocated for learning from globally renowned airports such as Singapore’s Changi Airport, South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, Japan’s Haneda Airport, the Netherlands’ Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, and Switzerland’s Zurich Airport, which prioritise safety and security.

She proposed the implementation of an artificial intelligence-powered surveillance system equipped with facial recognition capabilities to promptly alert security personnel of suspicious activities.

Furthermore, Mazlina highlighted the availability of weapons detection systems utilising advanced sensing technology like millimeter-wave radar and passive infrared sensors.

According to her, these systems can identify potential threats in real-time without impeding the flow of passengers, enabling security personnel to take preemptive action.

“They can help to identify potential threats in real time by just screening groups of people as they walk through. We don’t even have to stop them.

“This system is capable of detecting firearms and other threats, enabling security personnel to take the necessary action in advance.” – April 19, 2024

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