Behavioural Detection at Events- In the UK, the development of behavioural detection within events has been brought to fruition due to the continued threat of a terror attack. A service that was provided by trained police officers, the acceptance that private security providers will now play a role in this is common.
Behavioural Detection Officers (BDO’s) , look for the subtle signs that may indicate that a person does not fit in with those around them. This could be detecting persons involved in pick pocketing (theft), mobile phone theft, drug dealers to terror threats. As with many roles within events, the deployed private security providers take an an active role in this provision. Unlike the police though, the understanding of the role and the training required is still developing and growing.
We can look at other areas of security though that have been successfully using the techniques and skills learned. To understand the field the most prominent area that deploys Behavioural Detection Officers in aviation; airport security. We will provide you with material to gain a better understanding of the skill set to achieve a valid operation.

Published on Jan 25, 2011



The Benefits of Positive Passenger Profiling on Baggage Screening Requirements

Russell Shaver, Michael Kennedy



This research addresses airport security needs over the longer term; namely, how best

to balance in the future the two principal criteria that are commonly put forward for

sizing the machine deployments at individual airports. These two criteria—keeping the

cost to the government of acquiring, installing, and operating the baggage scanning

equipment as low as possible and not seriously disrupting the passenger flow through

the airport—are in conflict because lowering passenger disruption requires more

machines and thus more program cost. In this research, we present a methodology for

balancing the two criteria and thus for answering the question, How much (baggage

scanning equipment) is enough?


Scientific Substantiation of Behavioral Indicators

Transportation Security Administration

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – Scientific Substantiation of Behavioral Indicators

Executive Summary

This report contains a detailed discussion on the scientific evidence for the continued use of behavior indicators as a method to identify terrorists. It provides the background for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Behavior Detection program and the scientific substantiation. This report supplies the current state of the Behavior Detection program, the implementation of a revised behavior detection protocol, and subsequent plans to test behavior detection rigorously.


Verbal and Nonverbal Clues for Real-life Deception Detection

Verbal and Nonverbal Clues for Real-life Deception Detection

Ver´onica P´erez-Rosas, Mohamed Abouelenien, Rada Mihalcea,

Yao Xiao, CJ Linton, Mihai

University of Michigan


Deception detection has been receiving an increasing amount of attention from the computational linguistics, speech, and multimodal processing communities. One of the major challenges encountered in this task is the availability of data, and most of the research work to date has been conducted on acted or artificially collected data. The generated deception models are thus lacking real-world evidence. In this paper, we explore the use of multimodal real-life data for the task of deception detection. We develop a new deception dataset consisting of videos from real life scenarios, and build deception tools relying on verbal and nonverbal features. We achieve classification accuracies in the range of 77-82% when using a model that extracts and fuses features from the linguistic and visual modalities. We show that these results outperform the human capability of identifying deceit.



Using Behavioral Indicators to Help Detect Potential Violent Acts

A Review of the Science Base


Paul K. Davis, Walter L. Perry, Ryan Andrew Brown, Douglas Yeung,

Parisa Roshan, Phoenix Voorhies


This report reviews the scientific literature relating to observable behavioural indicators that might, along with other information, help detect potential attacks, such as those by suicide terrorists or the laying of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The report is intended to be of interest to officials contemplating future investments amidst tightening budgets, and to researchers and analysts. It deals with individual-level indicators and does not extend to detecting society-level phenomena, such as social movements or insurgent groups.


Discretion and fairness in airport security screening


Cynthia Lum * , Peter Zachary Crafton , Rebecca Parsons , Dale Beech , Tarren Smarr and

Michael Connors

Department of Criminology, Law and Society, Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, George Mason

University , 4400 University Drive, MS 6D12, Fairfax , Virginia 22030 , USA .


This study reports the fi ndings of a fi eld survey asking more than 500 passengers at a large East Coast international airport about their experiences while going through airport security. Although existing research shows that metal detectors and baggage screening can be effective in reducing the likelihood of violence at airports and on planes, the fairness of such procedures has yet to be fully examined. While all passengers must be screened, there can also be discretion in airport security regarding whether passengers receive additional screening and how they perceive they are being treated. Findings indicate differences between racial groups and treatment, with nonwhites more likely to receive additional screening, have more items confiscated, feel embarrassed, and less likely to be provided an explanation for searches. Policy recommendations are suggested.


Behavioural Detection as a Security Measure

Behavioural Detection-as-a-Security-Measure

IFALPA The Global Voice of Pilots


Over the last decades, States have developed an array of security procedures to prevent acts of unlawful interference against civil aviation. Likewise, new technologies have emerged, such as new generation metal detectors and Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) equipment. However, these systems remain very costly and time-consuming when applied to all passengers. Some of the most efficient methods are actually applied to only a selection of persons, usually selected on a random basis. Alongside such selection, it is also possible to apply a system based on analyzing behaviour to categorize passengers. This allows baseline measures to be applied to some passengers, and additional measures to others.




Mark G. Frank and Melissa A. Menasco

University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York

Maureen O’Sullivan

University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California


Human intelligence is the key to stopping terrorism, and therefore it is essential to know when the information obtained is false. This article briefly outlines the research on behavioral clues to deception, as well as research on people’s abilities to spot deception once it has happened. We find that there is no clue or clue pattern that is specific to deception, although there are clues specific to emotion and cognition. In general, behavioral clues are only limited in their abilities to identify deception and that there are still behavioral measurement issues that may plague research on deception. Moreover, a closer examination of the laboratory research suggests that many research studies are not relevant to security contexts, thus the research literature may underestimate the usefulness of behavioral information—particularly for the utility of identifying emotional and cognitive states. We also find that most people, unaided by technology, cannot detect lies from behavioral information, but that some groups do show significantly higher levels of accuracy—although more research is needed to understand why. We conclude that a more directed interaction with scientists and practitioners—in both lab work and in the real world, in creating real-world databases, identifying base rates for malfeasant behavior in security settings, optimizing training, and identifying preexisting excellence within security organizations can more rapidly capitalize on the usefulness of behavioral information in security settings.



ECAC Behaviour Detection Strategy (November 2016)


1. In 2011, the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) established the Behaviour Detection Study Group (BDSG) to facilitate the exchange of information, validation results, and best practices among States with active anomalous behaviour detection (BD) programmes in civil aviation environments. While applied methodologies, practices, and processes vary within each State’s programme, all share similar characteristics as an optimised, flexible tool that has been integrated into its current aviation security regime.


 Behavioral Profiling at U.S. Airports 

Harcourt OpEd Behavioral Profiling Longer Version

 © Bernard E. Harcourt

 Behavioral profiling is the latest development in U.S. airport security. The Transportation Security Administration began experimenting with the technique last December at about a dozen airports. At each, six T.S.A. employees who had once been routine screeners were given four days of classroom training, three days of field practice, and sent out to identify suspicious passengers.


Passenger Profiling, Imperfect Screening, and Airport Security

Passenger Pro…ling Imperfect Screening and Airport Security

by Nicola Persico and Petra E. Todd

The need for greater airport security has recently led to major changes in passenger screening procedures. One important change is the development of a Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System (CAPPS II), a new tool to select passengers for screening. When boarding cards are issued, CAPPS confirms passengers identities, performs criminal and credit checks, and retrieves additional information, such as residence, home ownership, income, and patterns of travel and purchases, used to construct a predicted threat rating. Passengers with elevated ratings are subject to searches and baggage inspections and may be questioned. Some other passengers are searched at random. These pro.ling measures have been challenged in lawsuits alleging unlawful discrimination. Some also question the effectiveness of profiling strategies relative to random searches. A second change in airport security has been an effort to select higher ability screeners and to improve their training

(see e.g. U.S. General Accounting Office 2004).

Democracy Now!

 Published on Mar 30, 2015


Statistical profiling to predict the biosecurity risk presented by non-compliant international passengers

Statistical profiling to predict

Stephen E Lane, Richard Gao, Matthew Chisholm, and Andrew P Robinson

Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010,


Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601, Australia

February 15, 2017


Biosecurity risk material (BRM) presents a clear and significant threat to national and international environmental and economic assets. Intercepting BRM carried by non-compliant international passengers is a key priority of border biosecurity services. Global travel rates are constantly increasing, which complicates this important responsibility, and necessitates judicious intervention. Selection of passengers for intervention is generally performed manually, and the quality of the selection depends on the experience and judgement of the officer making the selection. In this article we report on a case study to assess the predictive ability of statistical profiling methods that predict non-compliance with biosecurity regulations using data obtained from regulatory documents as inputs. We then evaluate the performance arising from using risk predictions to select higher risk passengers for screening. We find that both prediction performance and screening higher risk passengers from regulatory documents are superior to manual and random screening, and recommend that authorities further investigate statistical profiling for efficient intervention of biosecurity risk material on incoming passengers.


One Size Does Not Fit All: A Game-Theoretic Approach for Dynamically and Effectively Screening for Threats


Matthew Brown, Arunesh Sinha, Aaron Schlenker, Milind Tambe

University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA

fmattheab, aruneshs, aschlenk,



An effective way of preventing attacks in secure areas is to screen for threats (people, objects) before entry, e.g., screening of airport passengers. However, screening every entity at the same level may be both ineffective and undesirable. The challenge then is to find a dynamic approach for randomized screening, allowing for more effective use of limited screening resources, leading to improved security. We address this challenge with the following contributions: (1) a threat screening game (TSG) model for general screening domains; (2) an NP-hardness proof for computing the optimal strategy of TSGs; (3) a scheme for decomposing TSGs into subgames to improve scalability; (4) a novel algorithm that exploits a compact game representation to efficiently solve TSGs, providing the optimal solution under certain conditions; and (5) an empirical comparison of our proposed algorithm against the current state-ofthe- art optimal approach for large-scale game-theoretic resource allocation problems.


Are Emerging Technologies in Airport Passenger Screening Reasonable under the Fourth


Are Emerging Technologies in Airport Passenger Screening Reasonab

Sara Kornblatt

Loyola Marymount University and Loyola Law School Digital Commons at Loyola Marymount

University and Loyola Law School

September 11, 2001 ushered in a new era in a multitude of ways. At the forefront is the issue of airport security and passenger screening. The United States faces the task of protecting our citizens, our buildings, our skies, and our country from another attack similar to that harrowing day that changed America forever. Technologies have emerged to help thwart a future strike. Airports across the nation have started to implement some of these technologies. Americans now may be subject to “backscatter xrays”‘ and “explosive trace portals ‘ 2 prior to boarding aircraft at our nation’s airports. These tools present a tenuous balancing act between the need for national security and citizens’ constitutional rights against warrantless searches and seizures as afforded by the Fourth Amendment.



Behavioral Science and Security: Evaluating TSA’s SPOT Program



10:00 A.M.—12:00 P.M.



The Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight meets on April 6, 2011 to examine the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) efforts to incorporate behavioral science into its transportation security architecture. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been criticized for failing to scientifically validate the Screening of Passengers by Observational Techniques (SPOT) program before operationally deploying it. SPOT is a TSA program that employs Behavioral Detection Officers (BDO) at airport terminals for the purpose of detecting behavioral based indicators of threats to aviation security. The hearing will examine the state of behavioral science as it relates to the detection of terrorist threats to the air transportation system, as well as its utility to identify criminal offenses more broadly. The hearing will examine several independent reports-one by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), two by the National Research Council, and a number of Defense and Intelligence Community advisory board reports on the state of behavioral science relative to the detection of emotion, deceit, and intent in controlled laboratory settings, as well as in an operational environment. The Subcommittee will evaluate the initial development of the SPOT program, the steps taken to validate the science that form the foundation of the program, as well as the capabilities and limitations of using behavioral science in a transportation setting. More broadly, the hearing will also explore the behavioral science research efforts throughout DHS.


How Effective Is Security Screening of Airline Passengers?


Susan E. Martonosi

Department of Mathematics, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Boulevard,

Claremont, California 91711,

Arnold Barnett

Operations Research Center, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, E53-379, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139,


With a simple mathematical model, we explored the antiterrorist effectiveness of airport passenger prescreening systems. Supporters of these systems often emphasize the need to identify the most suspicious passengers, but they ignore the point that such identification does little good unless dangerous items can actually be detected. Critics often focus on terrorists’ ability to probe the system and thereby thwart it, but ignore the possibility that the very act of probing can deter attempts at sabotage that would have succeeded. Using the model to make some preliminary assessments about security policy, we find that an improved baseline level of screening for all passengers might lower the likelihood of attack more than would improved profiling of high-risk passengers.


Airport Security from a Passenger’s Perspective



The level of airport security has increased significantly in recent years. Most of these security measures were taken due to incidents such as the Lockerbie bombing and the 9/11 attacks. The measures influence all parties involved in the aviation industry.

Published on Feb 16, 2016


 Evaluation of the effectiveness of an airport passenger and baggage security screening system 

Evaluation of the effectiveness of an airport passenger and baggage security screening system-1

Abstract Airport security managers need methods to quantify changes in secu-rity level to prevent terrorist attacks. This study presents a method using a fuzzy inference system to assess the overall effectiveness of prohibited items detec-tion during passenger and baggage security screening. The results show that the screening system performance can be improved from medium to high by up-grading screening devices at hold baggage checkpoints and by increasing the frequency of training sessions. In the case of increased risk of terrorist attacks an obligation to control 20 per cent of passengers manually complemented by a 30 per cent increase in the sensitivity of metal detectors increases system per-formance to very high detection level. On the positive side our results show that these results can be achieved with minimum financial outlays, while on the negative sides system throughput is somewhat reduced. Overall our results show that screening performance can be improved substantially, but as the re-quired performance level rises there is a trade-off with system throughput and personnel training costs


A Mathematical Framework for Sequential Passenger and Baggage Screening to Enhance Aviation Security


Hande Sahin, Qianmei Feng

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA



To enhance security at both national and global levels, airport security screening systems must be designed with high efficiency and effectiveness, which are affected by both screening technologies and operational procedures for utilizing those technologies. The operational efficiency and aviation security can be enhanced if an effective passenger prescreening system is integrated into the baggage screening system. In this paper, passenger information is incorporated into a two-level checked-baggage screening system to determine the screening strategy for different subsets of passengers. By deploying a passenger prescreening system, this paper considers selectively applying baggage screening procedures for 100% screening. Since new image-based screening technologies differ widely in cost and accuracy, a comprehensive mathematical framework is developed in this paper for selecting technology or combination of technologies for efficient 100% baggage screening. The objective is to determine the optimal combination of technologies and the setting of threshold values for these screening technologies as well. Probability and optimization techniques are used to quantify and evaluate the risk and cost-effectiveness of various device deployment configurations, which are captured by using a system life-cycle cost model. Numerical analysis for all possible system arrangements is demonstrated.


Risk and economic assessment of expedited passenger screening and TSA PreCheck


Mark G. Stewart & John Mueller

Received: 25 August 2016 /Accepted: 14 November 2016

# Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016


The Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program allows airline passengers assessed as low risk to be directed to faster screening lanes. The paper assesses the scenario of a terrorist plot to down an airliner with a passenger-borne bomb. There are four main conclusions. First, we find that the layered system currently in place reduces the risk of such an attack by 98% – and probably by quite a bit more. Second, this level of risk reduction is very robust: security remains high even when the parameters that make it up are varied considerably. In particular, because of the large array of other security layers, overall risk reduction is relatively insensitive to how effective checkpoint screening is. Third, under most realistic combinations of parameter values PreCheck actually increases risk reduction, perhaps up to 1%, while under the worst assumptions, it lowers risk reduction by some 0.3%. Fourth, the co-benefits of the PreCheck program are very substantial: by greatly reducing checkpoint costs and by improving the passenger experience, this benefit can exceed several billion dollars per year.We also find that adding random exclusion and managed inclusion to the PreCheck program has little effect on the program’s risk reducing capability one way or the other. TSA PreCheck thus seems likely to bring efficiencies to the screening process and great benefits to passengers, airports, and airlines while actually enhancing security.


Analysis of Airport Security Screening Checkpoints using Queuing Networks and Discrete Event Simulation: A Theoretical and Empirical Approach

Analysis of Airport Security Screening Checkpoints using Queuing

Stephen Louis Dorton

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach


This study utilized discrete event simulation (DES) and queuing networks to investigate the effects of baggage volume and alarm rate at the Security Screening Checkpoint (SSCP) of a small origin and destination airport. A Jackson queuing network was considered for a theoretical assessment to SSCP performance. A DES model using Arena version 12 was utilized for an empirical approach. Data was collected from both literature and by manual collection methods. Manual data was collected during the peak operating time of 6am – 7am local time at the airport being modeled. The simulation model was verified and validated qualitatively and quantitatively by statistical testing before experimentation. After validation, a sensitivity analysis was performed on baggage volume of passengers (PAX) and the alarm rate of baggage screening devices, where SSCP throughput and PAX cycle time were the dependent measures. The theoretical queuing network approach proved an accurate method of predicting cycle time, but only under limited steady-state conditions. The empirical model and sensitivity analysis showed that SSCP performance is highly sensitive to alarm rate in both throughput and cycle time. Furthermore, empirical modeling and sensitivity analysis showed that SSCP performance was moderately sensitive to alarm rate, and completely resilient to the effects of baggage volume. Practical implications and future directions were also discussed at the conclusion of the study.


Ethnic Profiling In Airport Screening: Lessons From Israel, 1968–2010


Badi Hasisi, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Yoram Margalioth,

Tel Aviv University, and Liav Orgad, The Interdisciplinary Center,

Radzyner School of Law

We interviewed a random sample of 918 passengers—308 Israeli Jews, 306 Palestinians who are Israeli citizens (Israeli Arabs), and 304 non-Israelis—post check-in, at Ben-Gurion Airport, in an effort to learn about the individual and social cost incurred by the Israeli Arabs going through the security process. The article discusses what we learned from the survey and draws some policy implications. This is the first time such a survey was administered. (JEL: Z18, K00, H10)




Behavioural Detection: a case study from London Gatwick

Feb 2018

Airport operators are constantly working to achieve compliance against heavily prescribed security regulations, but what more can be done to protect against the threat as it has evolved today? Andy Palmer discusses how Gatwick Airport has taken a ‘compliance plus’ approach to security through the implementation of its behavioural detection programme.


Behaviour Detection Demystified: A Glimpse into the TSA’s Capability

Feb 2018

Since its inception, the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Behaviour Detection programme has been criticised for allegedly being a racial ‘profiling technique’ and not scientifically valid. In spite of these criticisms, the TSA continues to deploy this capability. Jennifer Blanchard delves into the reasons why a capability focused on human behaviour is so critical to any security infrastructure and attempts to put the profiling allegations to rest.

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