BRITAIN: Mandatory fingerprinting for passport holders

April 20, 2005

Days after parliament rejected a Labour government bill to introduce identity cards for all citizens, Home Secretary Charles Clarke has authorised mandatory fingerprinting of new passport applicants to be introduced from next year. The passport service's corporate plan for 2005-2010 confirms that this will quickly be extended to all passport renewals, which will mean opening another 70 passport offices, up from the current seven. The police have confirmed they expect the database to be available for "routine police checks". Eighty per cent of Britons hold a passport. Unlike identity cards, passports fall under the Queen's, not parliament's, prerogative.

From Green Left Weekly, April 20, 2005.
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