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What’s the problem, ‘darling’?

Crime rates on the rise, Brexit worries and the death of high street shopping, but what’s the big problem we’re facing… obviously pet names!

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Pet names. Some people like them, others hate them, and some people really couldn’t care less. So why has contractor Wilson James taken the decision to stop its Gatwick-based staff from using them after just one complaint?

Actually they haven’t!

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The national press has picked up a memo that was released from one of the airports service providers:

“Due to a recent customer complaint to GAL, can I ask that when communicating with our customers, you refrain from using terms such as “Love” & “Darling”.

If you do not know the name of the person you are speaking with, please refer to them as Sir/Madam.”

With tabloids exploiting the opportunity to attack the airport with claims of ‘Gatwick Bans Staff…” you wonder if silly season is indeed upon us.

To clarify, the memo was NOT sent out by Gatwick but by Wilson James who provide assisted services to the airport such as helping people in wheelchairs.

We contacted Wilson James who pointed out there is NO ban on the terms “Love” and “Darling”.

A Wilson James spokesperson said:

“Per our earlier statement to the media Wilson James endeavours to provide regular briefings and staff training around professional and courteous language. The memo which has been published is an example of that kind of briefing. 

To our knowledge there is no ban on the language reference this is simply a case of trying to provide best practise customer care.”

Gatwick themselves have also been left bewildered by the claims of the nationals but did provide a statement.

A Gatwick spokesperson said:

“Gatwick takes passenger complaints very seriously and, alongside our business partners, we always strive to address each passenger in a professional and courteous manner.”

So in a world where terror threats, global warming and Brexit are at the forefront of everyones mind, are we really concerned about the use of these words?

Most people agree that terms of endearment such as “darling”, “babe” and “sweetheart” are not offensive anyway.

A debate on ITV’s This Morning last year which featured comedienne Kate Smurthwaite and Kim Woodburn covered this very issue.

During the debate, Phillip Schofield referred to a poll presented to This Morning viewers asking: “Would you be offended if someone called you darling, babe or sweetheart at a supermarket checkout?”

A total of just under 13,000 people responded to the poll, which concluded that an overwhelming majority, 88% of people say ‘No’, they wouldn’t be offended.

Gatwick

Criminals beware, Project Servator has launched at Gatwick and it WILL spot you!

Unpredictable, that’s the key word for the project launched at Gatwick Airport for the first time, ensuring that security checks are performed without any notice.

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In this day and age we all feel a sense of safety whenever we see a police patrol going about their business.  None more so than at an airport.

“deter, detect and disrupt hostile reconnaissance”

Now Gatwick has gone one step further and adopted the national project Servator that has performed so well up and down the country.

Inspector James Biggs from the Gatwick Police Prevention Team explained:

“Project Servator is a project initiated by the city of London police that has now gone nationwide including railway stations and airports.

It’s designed to deter, detect and disrupt the hostile reconnaissance coming to the airport and places of interest.  That’s all levels of criminality from shoplifters to terrorists.

The project has been live nationwide for a number of a years which is why we adopted it here.”

But what is it?

The aim is be as unpredictable as possible and run security checks utilising all arms of the available resources available to the police, from uniformed to plain clothed and armed officers.  Additionally the use of dogs and the sophisticated CCTV and number plate recognition software all combine to create the airports very own ring of steel.

The officers have been specially trained to detect people who may come to the airport and act in a different manner.  Something not easy in an environment as busy as Gatwick where the people change every single hour and day.

But it is not just within the airport buildings that the project is undertaken.

Road checkpoints have also been set up ensuring that if anyone even thinks about getting close to the airport for wrong reasons then they will have no choice but to come face to face with the police.

Whilst the whole project is all about being unpredictable and therefore catching out would-be criminals, there is an additional side that could be witnessed first hand while watching the officers in action.

Smiles on the faces of passengers.

The very presence, the interaction and the belief that Gatwick is showing that safety is of paramount importance to all who both work and travel through the airport.

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