Identity Cards Act 2006 - Reaction - Terrorism and Crime

Terrorism and Crime

Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former head of Britain's counter-intelligence and security agency MI5 is on record in her support of the introduction of identity cards, as is Sir Ian Blair, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and his predecessor, Sir John (now Lord) Stevens. The Association of Chief Police Officers is also supportive.

However, in November 2005 Dame Stella Rimington, who was Director General of MI5 before Eliza Manningham-Buller, questioned the usefulness of the proposed scheme. This intervention caused a good deal of controversy amongst supporters and opponents of the scheme, especially as Manningham-Buller stated that ID cards would in fact disrupt the activities of terrorists, noting that significant numbers of terrorists take advantage of the weaknesses of current identification methods to assist their activities.

Lord Carlile was appointed after 11 September attacks on New York and Washington in 2001 to independently review the working of the Terrorism Act 2000 and subsequent anti-terrorist laws. Talking on GMTV on 29 January 2006, he expressed his views on the proposed legislation, saying that ID cards could be of limited value in the fight against terrorism but that Parliament had to judge that value against the curtailment of civil liberties. Speaking on the same programme, Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, former Met Police Commissioner, argued in favour for the need for identity cards, saying they had benefits in tackling serious crimes, such as money laundering and identity theft.

Read more about this topic:  Identity Cards Act 2006, Reaction

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