Perth Airport - Security personnel terminal 2 domestic airport

Feb 25, 2022

blakes1-of AU

At approximately 0555 Friday 25 February 2022 I was proceeding through the security screening, the x-ray machine closest to the baggage claim area.

My hand carry bag/computer lap top back pack was pulled aside after going though the machine. The two trays containing my laptop, note book, novel and reading glasses proceeded on without incident.

I was informed that they (security personal) needed to "declutter" my bag. My bag was opened by a female security staff member without permission or my consent.

I asked this person what she was looking for. I am a regular traveler through this airport and have never had issues with my bag in the past. The bag contained exactly what it usually does every time I fly from this airport terminal, approximately every 2 weeks.

The other 2 machines I have previously used have had no issues scanning my bag. I am at a lose as to why this identical machine was unable to scan my bag without incident.

The female security persons response was that she needed to "declutter" my bag.

I asked for my bag so that I could remove the contents. This reasonable request was refused. She then stated that she was required to remove my personal item from my bag. She refused to allow me to do this and stated that "if you want to fly today you will let me do this, I am only doing my job".

This is an invasion of privacy. She had no warrant to search my bag without consent. She had no grounds to suspect that there were prohibited items in my bag, which there were none.

I asked her what she was looking for, once again I received the answer that she needed to "declutter" my bag.

"Declutter my bag of what"?

Items in my bag were removed without consent and some of those items were then placed on a tray and re-scanned. Other items were lifted out of the backpack and then returned to the bag. She placed her hand in one pocket of the bag and moved the items in the bag around while she had a frown on her face.

She removed a smaller bag from the backpack and opened this bag, placed her hand inside both pockets and rummaged around inside the bag. She saw my wallet in this bag and turned the wallet then opened it to look inside my wallet.

She then looked at me and stated that I was swearing at her while I had been standing placidly watching her with my face mask on. At this time I had not said anything else since asking for my bag and being refused that request.

I believe that she was trying to escalate the encounter so that she could refuses me boarding of my flight!

I was then directed to stand in front of the perspex partition which allows a view of what she is doing however there were already 2 people there repacking their bags and putting on clothing that was removed to access the building.

If I had of moved to this location my view of what she was doing inside my bag would have been obscured. This may have been her intent so that she could access my wallet again. The implication of this are staggering.

I was standing at the end of the inspection area where there in no partition but there is a solid bench which is used by security to check someones bag.

Due to the state of Western Australia's mandated social distancing requirements which were in place at that time for all indoor venues, I was standing the required distance from other patrons in the area. I was not able to comply with her directive to move to where she had instructed me to stand. She was not at all happy that I would not push other people out of the way to stand where I was directed or to stand where my view of her activities would have been obscured.

Surely this person should be made aware of the mandated requirements and not breach local laws, policy and procedure.

My bag and the items removed from my bag without consent were then re-scanned. This person then pointed at me and then my re-scanned belongings indicating that I was to collect my personal effect and repack my bag.

No items were confiscated or seized. No items that are not permitted to fly were located in my belongings.

I believe that this person was on a power trip and deliberately and intentionally violated my rights in conducting this unlawful search of my bag and property. There was no justification in her conducting this unlawful activity. There was no justification to accuse someone of swearing when they were not. There was no justification for this person trying to escalate the encounter.

I feel that her actions were racially motivated? I feel that this person was on a power trip.