In today’s Law Society’s Gazette (the professional magazine of UK attorneys) an attorney writes about her experience of being searched at a Court. Nothing unusual there you might think, but the heading of the article caught our eye. It was “Dear HMCTS, Tampons Aren’t Dangerous” (see https://bit.ly/2VeDKmS ). As Shergroup has a woman CEO, and a number of women in its leadership team it seemed to us we should comment on this appalling situation.
There is something to be said for treating all visitors to a facility – whether it be a court or a theme park – with a high level of courtesy and respect. From the UK side of our operations we find this story particularly disappointing. We do after all have a UK regulator, being the Security Industry Authority. A woman should not be asked to remove sanitary protection from her bag in full view of other members of the public. The fact that someone then shouted over that the security officer was doing a “great job” beggars’ belief. In case HMCTS missed it, there is even a British Standard on bag searching which provides for bags to be searched in private – see page 18 of https://bit.ly/2EoXrmF .
We don’t think the security officer was doing a “great job”. The approach humiliated the attorney and probably embarrassed the line of people behind her at the Court. What sort of message does this send to other visitors and employees in Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service?
As we have said before in this blog – many institutions should take a leaf out of the book of security officers at Walt Disney World. This professional team guide their guests through the security line without so much as a ruffled feather. Buggies/strollers, back packs, coolers, people in wheelchairs, are all handled with courtesy and a smile. Each bag is searched with a small hand wand or by the security officer wearing gloves. No one is gloating and shouting over they are doing a “great job” even though they are.
If HMCTS think a theme park is too distant from their operation think again. The attorney at the centre of this post makes a very good point. She could take it – but what about a vulnerable person coming to Court to give evidence. Do you think this experience would have helped them get through their day?
Much can be learnt from the House of Mouse when it comes to handling large numbers of people in a courteous and respectful way. You can dismiss it if you like, but we feel that Walt Disney World sets a world class standard that many institutions and facilities should emulate as part of true customer service.
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