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Detention Centres

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people held in detention centres have died from (a) AIDS, (b) tuberculosis and (c) hepatitis since 2000. [49866]

Mr. McNulty: Since 2000, no one in immigration detention has died from these illnesses.

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, on DNA profiles, how many people over the age of 18 are on the DNA database who have never been charged or cautioned; and if he will make a statement. [45931]

Andy Burnham: On 1 December 2005, there were 124,347 persons on the national DNA database who had been arrested and had a DNA sample taken and who had subsequently not been charged or cautioned for any offence. Of these, 100,179 persons were over the age of 18 and 24,168 were under 18 years of age.

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, on DNA profiles, if he will break down the 24,000 cases by constabulary. [45932]

Andy Burnham: The information requested is shown in the following table.
Number of persons aged under 18 on the national DNA database who have been arrested for a recordable offence and subsequently not charged or cautioned.

Avon and Somerset74
City of London police17
Devon and Cornwall28
Greater Manchester police2,099
Metropolitan police3,538
North Wales372
North Yorkshire323
South Wales459
South Yorkshire1,112
Thames Valley102
West Mercia5
West Midlands2,152
West Yorkshire733

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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why DNA profiles collected from those arrested but not charged of any offence are retained. [49663]

Andy Burnham: Taking a DNA sample (and fingerprints) from someone who has been arrested for a Recordable offence and detained in a police station is now part of the normal process within a police Custody Suite. It is no different to recording other forms of information such as photographs, witness statements etc.

Early research has shown that sampling persons who have been arrested but not proceeded against has yielded a match with a crime scene in over 3,000 offences. These links may never have been made had the police not been given powers to take and retain samples on arrest. Retention of the DNA profile on the National DNA Database may prove to be vitally important in the event of that person committing a crime in the future.

Identity Cards/Verification

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposed powers in the Identity Cards Bill he plans to use to facilitate data sharing between the identity card database and other public sector databases. [44102]

Andy Burnham: The Identity Cards Bill includes provisions in clause 11 to enable information to be required from public sector or other organisations to validate National Identity Register entries. The Bill also allows for information to be provided from the National Identity Register to public sector or other organisations under clause 14, with the individual's consent, and to public authorities under clause 17 for identity checks as a condition of the provision of public services and under clauses 19 to 23, without the individual's consent, for specified purposes such as the prevention or detection of crime. Apart from the provision of information with consent under clause 14, and unless named on the face of the Bill, the particular public authority will need the approval of Parliament via secondary legislation.
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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 19 July 2005, Official Report, column 1610W, on identity cards, what level of risk has been identified through his Department's consultations on methods of fooling biometric readers; what has been learnt from his communication with other schemes that are using biometrics with identity cards; and what types of biometrics are used by those other schemes. [50323]

Andy Burnham: There is a broad consensus arising from reviews of reputable scientific literature, consultations with anti-fraud and biometric experts as well as communication with other biometrics schemes. It indicates that supervision of the enrolment process and the implementation of anti-spoofing technologies can counter the spoofing" of a biometric which in any case is very difficult to achieve. Furthermore, these consultations also indicate that the use of multiple biometrics, as envisaged in the Identity Card Scheme, will provide further protection.

As noted in the answer of 19 July 2005, the Identity Card Scheme will have a supervised enrolment process and the systems proposed by the various manufacturers during procurement, to meet the scheme requirements, will be rigorously tested to ensure risks from fake biometrics are adequately mitigated. Work with experts and other schemes to counter such threats will continue through this process. Such issues will also be independently scrutinised in order for the Scheme to achieve official security accreditation.

The Scheme is consulting with biometric identity card and border control schemes that use, or propose to use, facial, fingerprint or iris biometrics as part of their operations.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with EU counterparts on the development of biometric passports and identity cards; and what representations have been made by (a) business and (b) IT companies on security issues in relation to mechanisms for identity verification. [49342]

Andy Burnham: The security of EU travel documents and passports is an important issue and there have been a number of discussions with EU counterparts on the matter. The UK has participated regularly in discussions with member states in EU working and technical groups concerning the development of biometric passports.

The Council regulation on standards for security features and biometrics in passports and travel documents issued by member states requires biometric facial identifiers to be included in passports by August 2006. It is anticipated that the Council will shortly make a decision on the date from which biometric fingerprints should also be included in passports.

The UK has been excluded from the regulation but we are mirroring the provision and challenging our exclusion in the European Court of Justice. The Home Office has not received any representations from IT companies or businesses on mechanisms for identity verification in regard to e-passports. Identity cards have been discussed at bi-lateral meetings with Justice and Interior Ministers of several EU states. In December 2005 the Justice and Home Affairs Council, acting intergovernmentally, adopted Council Conclusions on
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common minimum security standards for national identity cards which encompass the inclusion of biometric identifiers. The Identity Cards Programme has held individual meetings with over 90 commercial organisations during the course of consultations and market sounding on ID cards, and has engaged with many more organisations at conferences and other market events. These interactions have been carried out in accordance with procurement guidelines and best practice established by the Office for Government Commerce and most have been facilitated through working with Intellect, a UK based ICT trade association with over 1,000 members. Most of these organisations have commented in some way on security aspects of the scheme and several have commented on more specific operational and technology issues including security issues related to identification and verification. In particular, in October 2004 the programme ran a seminar specifically on verification issues and in December 2004 ran a seminar on security. Both of these seminars would have included representations on security issues related to verification. The seminars were hosted by Intellect. There were 35 commercial organisations represented at the verification event and 51 at the security event. A list of those represented is as follows:

Verification seminar, 14 October 2004

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Security seminar, 10 December 2004

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