Agency breaks away after U.K. border security checks fail

Britain shook up its troubled border agency Monday after admitting that security checks at ports and airports had been suspended or applied inconsistently for the past five years.

Home Secretary Theresa May said an investigation had found that the U.K. Border Force, which staffs border posts at airports and ports, had “suspended important checks without permission.”

She said lapses included failing to check half a million Europeans arriving on Eurostar trains against a government terrorist watch list. The head of the force, Brodie Clark, was suspended in November after the government acknowledged that passport checks had been relaxed at 28 British ports and airports, including London's Heathrow Airport, during the busy summer travel season.