Seized! The Border and Customs Uncovered is the UK Border Force national museum. Located in Merseyside Maritime Museum’s basement, we have unveiled a new display looking at the work of Border Force Officers who work on passenger control. The UK Border Force manage the movement of people in and out of the country, as well as controlling goods entering the UK.
Visitors meet a Border Force Officer at passenger control
Historically, controls on the movement of people in and out of the UK were carried out by the Immigration Service. In 2012 with the creation of Border Force, responsibility for border security was bought under one command within the Home Office. The four new films that make up the new display explore different aspects of the work of the officer stationed at the UK Border. This includes the processes that people traveling in and out of the UK experience. Border Force Officers based at passenger controls stationed at air and sea ports, the channel tunnel and international rail stations such as St Pancras in London, inspect the travel documents of those arriving or leaving the UK. Examining passports or identity cards, they are on the look-out for illegal use, altered or tampered documents and people pretending to be someone they are not. They also look out for people who have experienced dangerous journeys and taken great risks to enter the country, including those who have been smuggled or trafficked.
Seized! Curator Steve Butler, said: “We set out to show the broader role of the Border Force officer we meet at the UK Border who were once known as the immigration officer. The films gave us the opportunity to show the human face of the officer who is the first official point of contact of those arriving at our ports and airports. At times their personal accounts take us on a journey far from the UK border, conflict in Africa and Europe to tragedy closer to home and the fate of cockle pickers on Morecambe Bay in 2004.”
Lead image: visitors at passenger control