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Ignorance or Conspiracy? Use of Door Frame Metal Detectors.

Life is full of surprises. In fact, I have found out that some facts are stranger than fiction. The ways of our security establishment, especially police are certainly very strange and surprising.

The wide spread use of Door Frame Metal Detectors (DFMD) is one phenomena which always makes me wonder whether the use is being done out of ignorance or is it part of a conspiracy of the security professionals to trouble and also fool the masses.

DFMDs are being widely used at the entrance of Railway Stations, Bus Stops, Metro Stations, Malls, Offices, Exhibitions, Plants and factories, Hotels and such like places. DFMD are used to give light or sound signal when a ferrous or non- ferrous item passes through it. These are supposedly being used to detect fire arms like pistols or knives and prevent entry of such prohibited items inside the secured area. But are these useful in fulfilling this task? The answer is an emphatic “NO”. The security guards or policeman on duty know this fact and hence rarely make use of this gadget. These thus end up as show pieces on the entrance gate.

In the present day, every person carries some ferrous or non ferrous material on him. The material could be in the form of mobile phones, coins, pen, jewellery, belt buckle or other dress items. So DFMD gives an alarm for all visitors who pass through it. Hence, the security staff has to perforce physically search all the visitors to detect fire arms or other prohibited items. The DFMD therefore does not add value to security system in any substantial manner. When I discussed the same with a retired Director General of Police, he was in agreement with my arguments but still wanted to have DFMD installed. He argued that these act as deterrence for ignorant people. I did not have a heart to inform him that the terrorists or criminals are certainly not ignorant people and are not going to be deterred by DFMD. I think he also knew this fact but wanted to create a positive impact and promote a false sense of security, in the public at large whom he considered ignorant.

The proof of pudding is in eating. We have to find out as to how many weapons or prohibited items have been detected by DFMD. Hardly any; is the answer. In fact no record of the same could be found on the net.

This fact is known to most of the security professionals and the security companies manufacturing and marketing the DFMDs.

In spite of this knowledge, the use of DFMDs is wide spread and increasing by the day, which is very strange.

I keep wondering whether people are ignorant of some facts in life or they don’t care or have they got together in a silent conspiracy to promote their self interests.

There are many more such examples of use of useless things which complicate our lives without adding much value. Let’s identify such things and prevent misuse of resources, time and harassment to public.

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