Supplementary memorandum submitted by
the Home Office
At the Committee meeting on 20 November you
asked Stephen Hickey, a Department for Transport (DfT) witness,
about new proposals that passengers on domestic flights between
Northern Ireland and Great Britain will be subject to identity
checks. I am replying as this is a matter for the Home Office.
Section 14 of the Police and Justice Act 2006
introduced a new power that will allow the police to capture passenger,
crew and service information on air and sea journeys within the
United Kingdom. The intention is that the power will be brought
into force by secondary legislation in 2008. The specific police
requirements under this power, which will include details of the
routes affected and data required, are still under discussion
within Government. Once the proposals have been finalised they
will be subject to a 12 week public consultation.
It is expected that this police power will only
apply to air and sea routes between Great Britain and Northern
Ireland. People will not be required to use passports, but may
be required to produce on of several types of documentation when
travelling to enable the carrier to meet the requirements of a
police request. Some airlines already request photographic ID
under their own conditions of travel to prevent ticket fraud.
However all airlines must ensure that it is the same passenger
who checks in hold luggage who then boards the aircraft. The police
power is designed to be proportionate and reasonable.
We are working very closely with the Republic
of Ireland to address the vulnerability in the UK borders from
terrorists exploiting the Common Travel Area by attempting to
enter the UK via the Irish Republic. The intention is to focus
efforts on terrorists and people involved in serious and organised
crime. The police will use this data collected under this power
to support intelligence led interventions to counter terrorism
and tackle serious and organised crime.
The police do use their powers under Schedule
7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to examine travellers between Northern
Ireland and Great Britain. Schedule 7 allows an examining officer
to examine and/or detain a person who is at a port or in the border
area and (where) the examining officer believes that the persons
presence at the port or in the area is connected with entering
or leaving Great Britain or Northern Ireland, or their travelling
by air within Great Britain or Northern Ireland, to determine
whether they are someone who is or has been concerned in the commission,
preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. This power is,
however, limited to counter-terrorism issues.