‘We have no specific intelligence [...] The level of threat against the United Kingdom is of an unparalleled nature and growing. [...] Unparalleled in terms of operational threat since the second World War. Far graver threat in terms of civilians than probably during the second World War or the Cold War; that's it.’So on one hand Sir Ian Blair says he doesn't have any specific intelligence, and on the other that the threat is greater than during WW2 when tens of thousands of people were killed in London. This is irresponsible propaganda.
The National DNA Database (NDNAD) records the DNA profile for a particular individual. It does not hold data on arrest and criminal records. This information is held on the police national computer (PNC). The facilities do not exist to cross-refer between all records on the NDNAD and PNC to the level of detail that would be required to provide the information sought.In other words, 1,139,445 of the entries in the DNAD as of last July were for persons never having been found guilty of any crime. A third (32.96%) of the DNAD entries are for innocents.
However, we can say that information provided by the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO) from the PNC indicated that as at 14 July 2006, when there were approximately 3,457,000 individuals on the database, 2,922,624 of these persons also had an entry on PNC. Of these, 2,317,555 (79.3 per cent.) had a conviction or caution (i.e. a criminal record). The difference between the two figures is attributable to: young persons under 18 who have a formal warning or reprimand recorded on PNC; persons who have been charged with a recordable offence where proceedings are on-going; and persons who have been arrested for a recordable offence but no further action was taken.
As indicated in the answer of 20 December 2005, Official Report, column 2890W, there were 139,463 people who have a DNA profile on the National DNA Database (NDNAD) who have not been charged or cautioned with an offence. This figure comprised 124,347 people who have been arrested and subsequently not been charged or cautioned with an offence and 15,116 people who had volunteered a sample and given consent to the profile being loaded on the NDNAD....and John Reid (Home Secretary), not even two months ago, in October 2006 was stating:
It is not currently possible to determine how many of the 124,347 "CJ arrestees" (persons with a DNA profile on the National DNA Database who have been arrested and subsequently not charged or cautioned with an offence) have never been convicted of an offence. [...] The figures might suggest that the remaining 100,828 persons have never been charged, reported for summons or sanctioned for any offence.The number of innocents in the NDNAD in a year has gone from 139,463 (Andy Burnham) to 100,828 (John Reid), to eventually more than an eightfold to 1,139,445 (Joan Ryan). Is it alright for the Parliament and us to be misled with such contradictory figures?
Andy Hayman, the Metropolitan Police's assistant commissioner responsible for anti-terror probes, said few arrests or charges arose from such searches.I raised this very issue with MPA last year.
I am not sure what purpose it serves, especially as it upsets so many people, with some sections of our community feeling unfairly targeted.
Mats Lindoff, the chief technology officer at Sony Ericsson, a leading handset-maker, points out that the processing power of mobile phones lags behind that of laptop computers by around five years. Furthermore, studies show that people read around ten megabytes (MB) worth of material a day; hear 400MB a day, and see one MB of information every second. In a decade's time a typical phone will have enough storage capacity to be able to video its user's entire life, says Mr Lindoff.
Planned projects in the Home Office which will make use of biometrics include:The Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office did say "include" - one major omission is the NDNAD (National DNA Database). And the PNC includes data from some of these biometric databases.
In addition there are a number of smaller projects some of which are partnerships with other organisations in the UK and abroad. Existing projects in the Home Office which make use of biometrics include:
- preparation for the addition of a second biometric in the UK ePassport;
- Identity Cards programme in support of the national identity scheme;
- UKvisas Biometric programme to ensure that all UK issued visas will use biometric identifiers by the end of 2007 or early 2008;
- Biometric travel documents;
- Biometric residence permit to be developed in line with common EU standards;
- IAFS+, extension of IAFS (Immigration and Asylum Fingerprints System) to accommodate the biometric visas and biometric residence permits;
- e-Borders programme, delivering a modernised border control, which is fundamentally more effective, efficient and secure to meet the future operational needs of UK border, law enforcement and intelligence agencies;
- PITO project to use face recognition to support FIND;
- LANTERN, a mobile fingerprint system under development by PITO.
As for planned projects there are a number of smaller projects some of which are partnerships with other organisations in the UK and abroad. The Home Office is continuing to examine new technologies, and new ways of using existing biometric technologies, to ensure the protection of the public.
- IDENT1, UK police platform for fingerprints and palmprints;
- UK ePassport: completion of its rollout scheduled for third quarter of 2006;
- IAFS (Immigration and Asylum Fingerprint System), database of biometric data relating to immigration cases and asylum seekers;
- ARC (application registration cards) and the use of mobile quick check readers. ARC is a credit card sized plastic credential which contains fingerprint details of asylum claimants and others;
- RepARC (Reporting with ARC) programme to require asylum claimants to produce their ARC card at each reporting event;
- ISRP (Immigration Stateless Refugee Project) to collect fingerprint details from holders of the 1951 UN Convention Travel Document;
- VIAFS (Visa Immigration and Asylum Fingerprint System), collecting fingerprints of visa applicants from certain countries;
- EURODAC, European-wide system in support of the Dublin Convention uses fingerprint data in order that member states can determine whether an asylum-seeker or a foreign national found present within a member state has previously claimed asylum in another member state;
- IRIS (Iris Recognition Immigration System), a free and voluntary way for air passengers to clear immigration utilising their iris image to verify their identity;
- Systems in prisons to prevent escapes by prisoners exchanging places with visitors;
- C-NOMIS (Custody- National Offender Management Information System). Fingerprint based for confirmation of prisoner identity against IDENT1 and PNC.
- Pilot of a Methadone dispensing system using iris recognition, at HMP Eastwood Park.
- Trial of fingerprint based access control to IT systems in prisons.
FIND Pilot has now gone Live. Good news on the FIND project is that the FIND Pilot has now gone live in 5 Forces around the country. The Pilot started 06/11 and will run for approximatly three months with an option to extend the system if requested by the Forces and it is feasible. A Benefits / evaluation workshop is happening 29/11 to assess the first months success of the Pilot and capture the benefits gained so far to the Forces. The Forces involved in the Pilot are Lancashire, West Yorkshire and Merseyside (supplying their data and images) and Devon and Cornwal and British Transport Police Leeds Office (read only). We have had requests for access by other Forces '/ goverment bodies and of which need to be considered.
Some of my personal encounters with IDENT1 and NDNAD: fingerprints, palm prints and DNA samples taken. As recorded in the PNC. Raising some of these issues with the MPA. Finding that private companies are keeping their own DNA databases, possibly including my own DNA; complaining about it to the ICO; one response; a further one. Discovering that DNA samples and profiles are kept until death of the subject. Discovering that DNA samples and profiles are kept for eternity and that the NDNAD records information as to whether the subject has been convicted (which can of course be incorrect).
The Home Office is also involved in these changes.