Previous Section Index Home Page

31 Jan 2006 : Column 366W—continued

Departmental Website

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of maintaining his main departmental website was for the last year for which figures are available; and how many visitors there were to the site in each of the last 12 months. [46306]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The following document gives the user statistics for We measure site use by counting page impressions—requests for a complete page of information—rather than hits, which are generally understood to be requests for each of the files making up a page. A page can consist of any number of files, so that page impressions are more meaningful than hits as a measure of use.

The running costs of the main departmental website——are met from the existing budget for running all of the core Home Office sites, which was £500,000 for the 2005–06 financial year. Separate totals are not kept for the maintenance costs of individual sites, including the main departmental website.
2005Page impressions

DNA Database

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2006, Official Report, column 1523W from the Leader of the House, that the Home Secretary is reviewing the cases of 24,000 children on the DNA National Police Database who have not been charged or cautioned for any offence, when he plans to make a statement about the review. [46913]

Andy Burnham: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is not reviewing the cases of individuals, children or adults, whose DNA samples have been retained even though they have not been charged or cautioned.

From an operational perspective, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has for some time been developing guidelines to allow, in exceptional circumstances only, the removal of individual profiles from the database. These will be issued shortly.

DNA Profiles

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 16 January 2006, Official Report, columns 1111–12W,
31 Jan 2006 : Column 367W
on DNA profiles, whether all the 24,000 individuals were still under 18 years on 1 December 2005 when the information was collated. [45933]

Andy Burnham: Yes. On one December 2005, there were 24,168 persons under the age of 18 on the National DNA Database who had been arrested and had a DNA sample taken but who had subsequently not been charged or cautioned for any offence.

Drug Seizures (Livingston)

Mr. Devine: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much property was seized by the Drug Enforcement Agency in Livingston in 2005. [44023]

Paul Goggins: This is a matter for the Scottish Executive and my hon. Friend may wish to write to them about this issue.


Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals have been excluded from the UK as Muslim extremists in the last five years; and how many individuals from around the world are on his Department's database as having demonstrated unacceptable behaviour. [41337]

Mr. Charles Clarke: 22 individuals have been excluded on grounds of unacceptable behaviour since the list of such behaviours was published on 24 August 2005. The 22 individuals include anti-abortionists, animal rights activists and extremists from different religious backgrounds.

Identity Cards

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many written representations in support of the Government's introduction of national identity cards he has received since 1 October 2005; and if he will list the individuals and organisations which made those representations. [43586]

Andy Burnham: Since October 2005, the Identity Cards Programme Team has received 31 written representations from individuals in support of the Identity Cards Scheme. It would not be appropriate to list the names of the individuals who wrote these representations, as they have not given their permission for their names to be disclosed.

Since October 2005, the Identity Cards Programme has received no written representations from organisations either in support or otherwise of the Identity Cards Scheme. However a number of organisations responded to the consultation on the Identity Cards Bill in July 2004.

The consultation documents and a list of who responded can be found on the website at

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the technical specifications for the identity card database will allow two-way data sharing with the CORE database. [44103]

Andy Burnham: The Identity Cards Programme is currently specifying technical requirements for the National Identity Register (NIR) in advance of a
31 Jan 2006 : Column 368W
procurement process. There is no specific requirement that the National Identity Register must be able to conduct two-way data sharing with the CORE database. The Government set out the role of the National Identity Register and the Identity Cards Scheme in relation to electoral registration and voting in its evidence to the House of Commons Constitutional Affairs and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committees published by the Committees on 16 March 2005.

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations his Department has received from representatives of (a) Christian, (b) Hindu, (c) Muslim and (d) Sikh communities relating to the photographic element of the proposed identity card scheme in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [45541]

Andy Burnham: In the last 12 months, the Identity Cards Programme has received four representations from individuals concerning the photographic element of identity cards. None of the correspondents disclosed their religion, and the focus of their representations was a concern that individuals required by their religion to cover their face should not be exempted from the requirement to have their photograph taken.

In December 2004, the Identity Cards Programme conducted a special issues research which included individuals from various faith groups. The full results can be found on the website at However, Muslim and Sikh women expressed concerns about removing their religious garments at an enrolment centre.

A head and shoulders photograph showing features of the face will be included on the card. Regulations about types of photographs will be in line with those currently in place for passports and driving licence photographs. The UK Passport Service exercises its discretion as far as possible. However, the over-riding rule (set by international standards) is that the applicant's photo should show a full face and that all features should be clearly distinguishable.

At some DVLA offices, Muslim women are offered a facility to go to a private office and reveal their face to a female member of staff so that their face can be matched against the photograph. The operation of ID cards will include guidance along these lines to ensure discretion and sensitivity.

Identity Fraud

Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the levels of identity fraud in other countries (a) with and (b) without identity cards. [45369]

Andy Burnham [holding answer 24 January 2006]: The most recent study of identity fraud in other countries is contained in the 2002 Cabinet Office publication Identity Fraud: A Study". This study is available from the publications archive page on the identity cards website— Chapter 6 summarises the results of research on the extent and nature of identity fraud overseas and action taken to counter identity fraud. The countries examined
31 Jan 2006 : Column 369W
which had an identity card scheme were, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, France, Spain and Germany. The other countries involved were, the USA, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, all of which do not have identity cards.

One of the main conclusions of the research was that all countries experience difficulty in establishing levels of identity fraud. The research also suggests that countries which use existing identifiers as pseudo identity numbers", such as the social security number in the USA, encounter many problems with identity fraud and with establishing the validity of the number, not least because it was not intended to be used for the wide variety of purposes that have become commonplace in the absence of a securely issued identity number.

Next Section Index Home Page