By which we mean 'tests the patience of those in charge of public safety and wastes everyone's time, money and resources.'
Not wanting to be outdone by the Evening Standard's scaremongering, the Daily Mirror sent two journalists to the Stonebridge Park train depot to plant a fake bomb on a freight train, in order to test the security measures in place.
A similar exercise was carried out last year when two Daily Mirror journalists successfully planted a fake device on a nuclear train, which led to many articles in the red-top paper about the poor quality measures put in place against such attempts. This time, police stepped in and arrested the two men for trespassing, and have had to devote time and effort to searching the entire depot once the fake bomb element of the trespass was revealed.
How the blinking flip was this hideous waste of time supposed to keep the public calm and confident in the powers that protect us? The point was to succeed in planting the fake bomb, then write panic-stricken, scare-mongering, hand-wringing headlines for a few days with several pages of 'shocking images' and equally shocking testimonies from 'outraged residents.' That the British Transport Police caught the two hapless journalists and are now dedicating time effort to sorting out the mess this hoax has caused elicits only this sniffy little reply from the Mirror's spokesperson:
"We are happy to see that the security procedures have now improved."
Well, thank you Daily Mirror for running that invaluable test on the country's security procedures. We will send flowers and thank you cards when the police resources diverted to this idiotic exercise are then depleted for a genuine breach of national security. If the newspaper wants to work in the interests of public safety, it would do best to stop printing any words at all and just print pictures of Big Brother contestants for readers to vote on who has the biggest tits.