Now passengers need ID to travel within Britain

From: Clive Denton

Date: 2007-11-18 12:22:23

Every breath you takeEvery move you makeEvery RULE you break, every step you takeThey’ll be watching you!   (-_-)   Now passengers need ID to travel within Britain Date: 18th November 2007 Source: Daily Mail   Passengers on domestic flights and ferries between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland will be required to carry identity papers for the first time from next year. The move will effectively establish a highly controversial internal border within the UK and could pave the way for identity checks on all domestic flights and ferries in Britain. Once operational, the system will allow the police to build up a complete picture of passenger movements between Ulster and the mainland. And it will enable them to carry out background checks to identify suspected criminals and potential terrorists. The move comes as police and security services are pushing for wider access to information on passenger movements within Britain, whether by air, sea or national rail and coach networks. Last night, Unionists said the proposals were tantamount to treating people from the Province as “second-class citizens”. Under the new system, personal information given by a passenger when purchasing a ticket will be checked on police computers looking for possible suspects. Travellers will also be required to produce a valid passport or driving licence to buy a ticket. The system is similar to that already in place to check those travelling to and from Britain on international flights and allows intelligence services to “profile” suspects, looking for patterns of criminal behaviour. The Home Office last night confirmed the measures would be introduced next year using a so-called “statutory instrument” signed off by Home Secretary-Jacqui Smith, without the need for a full debate in the Commons. The Government said the move will enforce powers included in the Police and Justice Act 2006 which allows officers to monitor all “flights and voyages” starting in the UK. An “impact assessment” document on the plans said discussions were taking place with travel companies about the possibility of delays being caused as the information is collected. The Home Office publication, written last year, also said the “rationale” behind the system is to provide the police with “essential intelligence”. It stated: “It is often the case that domestic travel forms part of a journey beginning or ending overseas. “For example, having arrived in the Republic or Northern Ireland from overseas, terrorist targets may then use domestic air and sea routes for travel to…the UK mainland.” “The lack of data on the domestic leg of such journeys creates a critical gap in the intelligence picture.” MP Jeffrey Donaldson, of the Democratic Unionist Party, said the proposals were an “outrage”. He said: “It treats the people of Northern Ireland as second-class citizens and if it goes ahead it will be challenged in the courts. “We are as concerned about our security as anyone else in the United Kingdom but these measures should be put in place on the land border with the Irish Republic.” Tony Bunyan, of civil liberties organisation Statewatch, said: “The Government is using the fear of terrorism to build up an apparatus of far-ranging social control that allows them to build up a complete picture of our lives.” Former Europe Minister Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs select committee, which is carrying out an inquiry into the “Surveillance Society”, last night said he would raise the issue with Ministers next week. He said: “This is a civil liberties issue. It needs to be debated fully by Parliament.” Article and comments Here  

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