Warning for man accused over airport breast X-ray

Agence France-Presse | March 24, 2010

LONDON Police said Wednesday they have warned an airport worker who reportedly made a crude remark about a colleague's breasts as a newly-installed security scanner took a full body X-ray of her.

Jo Margetson, 29, walked into an X-ray machine at London's Heathrow Airport by mistake before the incident allegedly took place -- and told The Sun newspaper she is now "totally traumatised".

The reported incident, the first such complaint since the machines were introduced earlier this year, has highlighted privacy concerns about the use of full body scanners at British airports.

Heathrow and Manchester airports has been using them since an alleged bid to blow up a US-bound jet on Christmas Day was foiled, while the US and The Netherlands are among other countries where they are being installed.

When asked about the story, a spokesman for London's Metropolitan Police said: "Police received an allegation regarding an incident that happened at Heathrow Terminal 5 on March 10.

"A first instance harassment warning has been issued to a 25-year-old male."

Airports operator BAA, which runs Heathrow, added that it was investigating the allegations.

"If these claims are found to be substantiated, we will take appropriate action," a spokesman added.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned the government that the scanners could run counter to the right to privacy enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.

"When privacy-invading machines like these are installed at our airports, abuses like this are inevitable," said Alex Deane of campaign group Big Brother Watch.