It’s a strange experience arguing security logic with the police. Particularly in the lifts at work. The real problem isn’t with the debate, it’s with the discovery that the person you’re debating it with is less intelligent than the chair I’m sitting in, and the fact that if you make them look too bad they’ll probably decide to cuff you and ship you to Cuba, anyway........
Let me set the scene, I work in the same building as a police training centre London. The security here is dire, and the security barriers can just be walked through by anyone over the height of about 6’4”. They’re also un-responsive and generally crap, so a lot of the time I just walk through them. I shouldn’t, but I do. The few people who notice me do this tend to laugh. Not once have I ever been told off for doing so, and I’ve been doing it for months. Until today. Today one of the police women from the training centre decided to have a go at me for “ruining the security of the entire building”. Fair enough to have a go at me, I’d been wondering how long it might take, but what followed was one of the most earth shattering failures to understand the basic concept of security that you’ve ever seen, and it went, a little something, like this (my thoughts in italics kids):
PW: “Did you just bust through that security barrier?”
Me: “Well, I walked through it yeah, I often don’t use my card because I don’t need to and the barriers are painfully slow to respond after people go through them.”
PW: “Can I see you pass then, I don’t believe you’ve got one.”
Me: “Sure.” Deciding to give her the benefit of the doubt over the fact that she just that second watched me use it to access the lift.
PW: “Do you realise you’re putting us all at risk by walking through the security barriers?”
Me: “I don’t really consider them security barriers if you can just walk through them, surely that somewhat defeats the point of having the barriers in the first place”
PW “I don’t care about that, you’ve just put us all in danger.”
Me: “Surely the fact that I ‘can’ do that is what puts us in danger, not the fact that I ‘did’ do that.”
PW:”I don’t care if you can do it, by not following security procedures we’re all at risk”
So, had I just used my pass like a good little automaton we’d all be dandy, and you’d be blissfully ignorant, but by pointing out a fundamental flaw in the process I’ve now endangered you? Oh I do beg to differ.....
Me, somewhat stunned by the logic: “I’ve done this hundreds of times...”
PW: “I don’t care how many times you’ve done it security procedures are there for a reason!”
WHAT! You just decided to complain to me about doing so and you’ve no interest in how many times I’ve done it. You’re talking about building security, and you’ve no interest what so ever in the fact that for several months I’ve been walking through security barriers completely unchecked, and the in all that time you’re the only person to EVER mention it?
You really have to worry. Ultimately she was right to have a go at me. But I’m a little more concerned that the Met’s finest decided that rather than flag their concerns with the security of the entire building, she decided that it was actually a personal issue entirely involving me. That’s not security, that’s idiocy.