Guernsey

Man pulled aside at Guernsey Airport security over tweet

Guernsey Airport
Image caption David Piesing said the officer told him to be wary his social media criticism did not become abusive

A businessman was pulled aside by police at Guernsey Airport security over "concerns" about one of his social media posts written more than three weeks earlier.

David Piesing said an officer asked to speak to him at security on Thursday.

"You might be expecting this to happen in North Korea, but not in Guernsey," Mr Piesing, 56, said.

Guernsey Police said they spoke to someone over "safety and security concerns" regarding an online comment.

In a tweet on 9 December, Mr Piesing used the word "bomb" while criticising the airport's security procedure.

The post said someone he knew had been told by a member of the airport's security team that they "seemed to have bomb making equipment" in their bag, which turned out to be charging cables.

Mr Piesing said he was pulled into a private room after going through security and the police officer told him to be careful not to allow his posts to descend into "abuse".

The businessman, who is a regular critic of the airport's security procedures on social media, said he responded that he had "criticised, but not abused anybody".

'Security implications'

Mr Piesing added he was "unimpressed" and "incredulous" police got involved in "what is clearly a civil matter".

He has lodged a complaint with Guernsey's Data Protection Commissioner, accusing the police of breaching data protection rules because he says they must have had advance notification he was travelling.

Guernsey Police said they could not be "complacent" when "specific, inappropriate language with security implications is used publically".

The force said the person was not told they "could not make negative comments" but were advised "using certain terminology when directly referencing the airport could be misinterpreted".

In a joint statement, Guernsey Airport and Bailiwick Law Enforcement said: "Guernsey Airport and Bailiwick Law Enforcement take border security extremely seriously and the safety of passengers is paramount.

"Previous specific online comments referencing elements of Guernsey Airport security were reviewed and resulted in a law enforcement officer speaking with an individual about the content of certain social media posts and specifically the phrasing used to ensure that there could be no further security risk."

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