Immigration and security services swooped on to a Scottish beach yesterday and apprehended four Iranians who had strayed into UK waters.
And the lack of cohesive police intelligence has so infuriated Home Secretary David Blunkett that he has called for all Britain's Chief and Depute Constables to resign.
The Iranians - a man, a woman and "two young activists" - were discovered on the popular sands, less than 5,000 feet away from where Columbia recording artist Bob Dylan was receiving his honorary degree from St Andrews University.
They were spotted in dunes, near to where ‘Chariots of Fire' was filmed, by undercover operatives and a full scale security operation was launched.
It is believed the Iranians originally tried to pretend they were on a day-trip from Dundee.
After being arrested their equipment was put on show to the national media.
The incriminating evidence included
• Two inflatable airbeds
• Four aluminium chairs, covered in a candy-striped fabric
• One thermos flask
• A Semtex-like substance, sliced and laced with cheese and pickle
• One small hatchback getaway vehicle
Mr Blunkett, obviously livid with police complacency, said: "This proves what I've been saying all along. You'd have to be blind not to see the sheer incompetence that has seeped into the very top levels of the UK."
The Home Secretary renewed his calls for all for all police forces to invest in the new Satellite People Tracking System (SPTS) which can monitor the movements of 100 million people at the same time, record their conversations and chart their non-verbal communication.
Mr Blunkett said he had been told this was now available as an off-the shelf package in Woolworth, and other leading outlets, priced £29.99.
"Unless the police act now and start taking their responsibilities seriously," he warned, "I will be forced to take the initiative and initiate a new initiative, or resurrect an earlier initiative that I initially had the initiative to initiate."
This is being viewed as a threat to introduce his personally-designed, giant, rattling, flashing identity cards.
At just over three-feet square, using two 12v batteries and weighing 120lbs each, the ID cards have been described by civil rights activists as an "unacceptable intrusion into personal liberty".
These critics, in turn, have been described by Mr Blunkett as "friends of terrorism".