Theresa May pushing for PNR system to be extended

Passenger Name Records, which are already used in connection with flights between Europe and America, allow authorities to collect information including name, passport number, home address, mobile phone number, credit card information and travel itinerary.  At the moment the United Kingdom is the only country in Europe to collect and analyse information on passengers through its e-Borders Scheme, which was launched under the old Labour Government.

According to reports Britain has yet to decide whether to support the EU directive in its current form due to concerns over retention period, scale, purpose and profiling.

Speaking recently at the National Border Targeting Centre (NBTC) in Manchester the Immigration Minister, Damian Green, said that \’Checking people coming to the UK is vital in helping secure the border by targeting known criminals, terror suspects and illegal migrants while gathering evidence against smugglers and people traffickers. Traveller information has enabled the e-Borders to help keep our country safe with more than 8,400 criminals, including rapists and murderers, intercepted since it was established. When the new National Crime Agency goes live from 2013 the Manchester based NBTC will be central to helping the UK Border Agency play its part. The city can be justly proud of its role at the forefront of the hi-tech fight to make the country\’s border even more secure.’

The comments and statistics from the Immigration Minister & UK Border Agency will no doubt help to boost public support for systems which many feel are becoming intrusive and an invasion of privacy. Human Rights campaigners will no doubt campaign vigorously against the proposals as they did last year when the Government planned the introduction of body scanners at UK airports.

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