Plastic Handcuffs Confiscated By Authorities
Birmingham International Airport security guards strip-searched
a man dressed as a clown after the entertainer set off security
Wearing a baggy bright blue constable's uniform, huge shoes, and
a policeman's helmet -- complete with a flashing blue light on top
-- PC Konk the Clown was ordered to strip to his tee-shirt and
PC Konk -- aka Dave Vaughan, 60 -- has been a children's
entertainer for 25 years. "I just couldn't believe it when they
told me to get undressed so they could search me and my
belongings," he said. "I showed them my police clown identity card,
which had my picture next to my credentials as a member of the
Criminal Insane Department, but I don't think that really
"My plastic scissors and camera got through fine, as did my
funny glasses and bubble machine, but then they discovered my
plastic toy handcuffs. I told them I had bought them from the Early
Learning Centre especially for the trip but they still said they
were a risk."
It turns out a metal band designed to keep his trousers up had
set off the alarm, and PC Konk was allowed to board the plane. But
security guards decided to hang onto the plastic handcuffs.
Vaughan said, "I suppose they have to be really safety-conscious
nowadays, but I've never had this problem before when I've been to
international clown conventions abroad."
Vaughan was booked by Variety Club Midlands to entertain
disadvantaged children with his funny songs and jokes on the Search
for Santa trip, a one-hour flight, UK's Daily Mail reported.
"It's ridiculous that they needed to strip search PC Konk right
down to his shorts," Variety Club Midlands spokesman David Dunckly
said. "He told us that he normally uses pink fluffy handcuffs, but
they have a little bit of metal in, so he thought plastic ones
would be safer.
"PC Konk has always been great with the kids, and we were all
rather shocked when we found out he had been strip searched in a
private room. Thankfully, he was let through in the end, but it's
security gone mad," Dunckly said.
A Birmingham International Airport spokesman said, "PC Konk
certainly did a great job of keeping everyone at the airport
entertained; however, he was required to give in his handcuffs at
security in line with national security regulations.
"PC Konk then passed speedily through before getting on with the
important job of putting smiles on the faces of the Variety Club
children, who all enjoyed a day to remember."
And Vaughan got his plastic handcuffs back after the flight,