TSA expects more sexual assault claims from its new pat-down search technique
To enter America, you might need to let America enter you. If the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) thinks that you’re suspicious, you get the pat down. Your genitals are cupped, your anus is probed and your breasts undergo a vigorous investigation. And it’s getting more invasive. Now TSA offices have been advised to tell police to expect more accusations of sexual assault from holidaymakers and other travellers.
TSA officers use the back of the hands for pat-downs over sensitive areas of the body. In limited cases, additional screening involving a sensitive area pat-down with the front of the hand may be needed to determine that a threat does not exist.
The front hand will now be used more frequently.
“I would say people who in the past would have gotten a pat-down that wasn’t involved will notice that the [new] pat-down is more involved,” TSA spokesman Bruce Anderson said Friday. The shift from the previous, risk-based assessment on which pat-down procedure an officer should apply was phased in over the past two weeks after tests at smaller airports, he said.
The TSA screens about 2 million people daily at U.S. airports. The agency doesn’t track how many passengers are subject to pat-down searches after they pass through an imaging scanner. People who decline to use this screening technology are automatically subject to physical searches.
While passengers may find the process more intrusive, the new screening procedure isn’t expected to increase overall airport security delays. However, “for the person who gets the pat down, it will slow them down,” Anderson said.
Especially if they have trouble walking afterwards.