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Covert testing at airports: Exploring methodology and results


Wetter, Olive Emil; Hardmeier, Diana; Hofer, Franziska (2008). Covert testing at airports: Exploring methodology and results. In: 42nd Carnahan Conference on Security Technology. Proceedings, Prague, Czech Republic, 2008 - 2008, 357-363.

Abstract

Large efforts are made in order to enhance human factors in airport security, but one very important area, namely covert or infiltration tests, are often neglected. Covert tests are most important not only for quality control and risk analysis, but also for training purposes, such as for example the training of appropriate reactions in dangerous situations. Therefore, conducting covert tests at airports is a very useful approach for assessing the effectiveness of the security control and offers a possibility to uncover weaknesses in the security process by simulating the case of emergency. Its main benefit is the high ecological validity almost unparalleled by other methods. The present scientific exploratory applied study is one of the first of its kind worldwide, which analyses the results of covert tests collected at a large European airport over a period of fourteen calendar months. Statistical analyses were performed using Mann-Whitney u-tests, chi-square tests and binary logistic regression analysis. Results will focus on differences in detection performance between different test objects and different places of concealment. Additional factors included in the analyses will be time taken for pat-down search, sex, age, work experience, as well as the security officerpsilas reaction to weapon detection. Methodological problems will be discussed and suggestions made for further research in this area.

Abstract

Large efforts are made in order to enhance human factors in airport security, but one very important area, namely covert or infiltration tests, are often neglected. Covert tests are most important not only for quality control and risk analysis, but also for training purposes, such as for example the training of appropriate reactions in dangerous situations. Therefore, conducting covert tests at airports is a very useful approach for assessing the effectiveness of the security control and offers a possibility to uncover weaknesses in the security process by simulating the case of emergency. Its main benefit is the high ecological validity almost unparalleled by other methods. The present scientific exploratory applied study is one of the first of its kind worldwide, which analyses the results of covert tests collected at a large European airport over a period of fourteen calendar months. Statistical analyses were performed using Mann-Whitney u-tests, chi-square tests and binary logistic regression analysis. Results will focus on differences in detection performance between different test objects and different places of concealment. Additional factors included in the analyses will be time taken for pat-down search, sex, age, work experience, as well as the security officerpsilas reaction to weapon detection. Methodological problems will be discussed and suggestions made for further research in this area.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Event End Date:2008
Deposited On:06 Aug 2014 13:39
Last Modified:18 Feb 2018 11:26
Publisher:IEEE
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/CCST.2008.4751328

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