Stop 'n' search ? Why travellers in UK "may be asked to prove their identity " ... State terrists at work
Tom Griffin at The Green Ribbon has received a response to his Freedom of Information request about the impact of e-borders on Northern Ireland.
It is better to read this response in it's entirety ... However one section of the lengthy and detailed response struck us in the way that radical changes are inexorably being made to internal travel .... which reminds at least one traveller of the recent announcements about luggage checks etc., at railway stations.....Gordon Brown reveals 'Fortress Britain' plan Daily Telegraph 16/11/2007 "Train passengers face routine airline-style bag checks and body searches as part of a new counter-terror crackdown announced by Gordon Brown."
"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 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. The police will use this data collected under this power to support intelligence led interventions to counter terrorism and tackle serious and organised crime. "
Which Government Notes to the act available here provide (as m'learned freinds would say) further and better particulars.Section 14: Information gathering powers: extension to domestic flights and voyages
162. Section 14 provides for section 32 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006) ("the IAN Act") (police powers to gather information relating to flights and voyages to or from the United Kingdom) to be amended to include:
ships or aircraft arriving, or expected to arrive, in the UK from elsewhere in the UK, and
ships or aircraft leaving or expected to leave, from any place in the UK for elsewhere in the UK.
163. This will enable a constable of at least the rank of superintendent to request passenger, crew or service information from the owner or agent of a ship or aircraft on air and sea journeys within the UK.
164. Section 32 of the IAN Act states that the passenger, crew and service information which may be collected under the section will be specified in secondary legislation. Secondary legislation may also specify the form and manner in which information is to be provided.
165. Section 32 of the IAN Act also requires passengers and crew members to provide the owner or agent of a ship or aircraft with any information that he requires for the purposes of complying with a requirement to provide information.
166. Requests have to be in writing, may apply generally or only to one or more specified ships or aircraft, in either case, throughout a specified period (not exceeding six months) and must state the information required and the date or time by which the information must be provided.
167. Subsection (3) amends section 32(5) (interpretation of that section) and section 33(5) (police powers to gather information about freight entering or leaving the United Kingdom: interpretation of section) of the IAN Act by inserting a definition of a ship. A ship is defined as including every description of vessel used in navigation and hovercraft. Subsections (4) and (5) amend section 36 (duty to share travel and freight information) and section 38 (disclosure of travel and freight information for security purposes) of the IAN Act by inserting the above definition of a ship.
This arises from "Dr " Paisley the DUP leader writing recently to Gordon Brown expressing unionist alarm at the possibility that an "e-border" around Britain could see British citizens in Northern Ireland uniquely required to produce identification when travelling to other parts of the UK.
In reply, Mr Brown has told Dr Paisley that "there are no plans to require domestic passengers to produce passports on any domestic air or sea journey, including on routes from Northern Ireland to the rest of the United Kingdom". (Pheww that's a relief ?)
However ....... a press report from someone who has access to this correspondence (Irish Times) Gordon Brown refers to Section 14 of the Police and Justice Act 2006, which introducing the new power for the police to request passenger, crew and service "data" on domestic and sea journeys, Mr Brown confirms this power will be brought into force sometime this year, adding: "So, although passengers may be asked to prove their identity when travelling between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom [as they do already on many flights], there is no question of instituting passport control for people travelling within the United Kingdom."
This of course only applies (it appears) to ships and aircraft .... watch out for extensions being built into the promised legislation to cover let us say, railway stations , bus terminals, motorway cafes .....