There's an interesting article over on the BBC Magazine speculating on the best ways to help detect bombs on our transport system and we're happy to read that the best option by far seems to be doggies. Security experts seem to agree that Beagles make the perfect sniffer dogs and are far too cute to be menacing:
"Beagles are delightful and everyone goes 'Aaaah, they're cute, so it's not intrusive or scary," says security expert Bob Ayers, associate fellow of international think-tank Chatham House. "They are in keeping with the British tradition of policing - non-intrusive and non-threatening, unlike mastiffs or Rottweilers.... I'd suggest using dogs in increasing numbers would help, but I doubt whether it would stop, say, someone getting a bus at Hammersmith."
Sounds like a great idea to us. We've been sniffed by these guys at American airports and it actually proves a nice distraction from the almost endless queuing.
The rest of the ideas mentioned in the article (body scanning, proof of ID requirements when buying tickets, x ray screening, bomb proof buses etc) seem a little over the top and difficult (to say the least) to implement in a city this size.
Train Marshals we don't mind the idea of as long as we call them something else... ticket inspectors perhaps. Let's be honest here - you can sit around for years on the tube waiting for a terrorist to come along (and then of course three come along at once) so why not tell the oiks to get their feet off the seats while keeping an eye out for the bad guys at the same time?
We'll go further and suggest that bus conductors should be brought back - handy for keeping an eye out for suspicious packages but even better for filling in for those lousy ticket machines on New Oxford Street that never work and again telling the oiks to keep their feet off the seats. That would also free up our drivers to pay more attention to the driving instead of having to explain to people every five minutes why they can't take our money.