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12 Jun 2007

Number-plate fraud shows how ID cards will fail

With senior police officers calling for the car number plate system to be changed because they no longer trust the DVLA database[1], campaign group NO2ID [2] said that the National Identity Scheme [3] will fail in the same way.


Supt John Wake of the vehicle Crime Intelligence Service is reported as saying [1]: "The registration plate is the first form of identification of the vehicle to the general public. I don't have confidence that beyond that you can identify that that vehicle is the legitimate vehicle for that plate."


Guy Herbert, General Secretary of NO2ID said:

"This is a direct consequence of the 'punishment by numbers' strategy of tracking, taxing and charging motorists based on linking cameras to the registration database. Once you do that, of course crooks will use other people's numbers, and the innocent will be presumed guilty.


"ACPO says the solution is to centralise further. But that's crazy. It would means more costs to the driver and the motor-trade AND relying heavily on the numbers that are issued - no help for those whose cars are cloned.


"But it can be worse. Think what happens if the Home Office gets its way and your whole life, not just your use of a car, is tied to a single number. How many more opportunities will there be for villains to exploit, and for you to get the blame?"


Notes from editors:


1) E.g. "The number plate system needs to be completely overhauled to beat a rise in 'car cloning', police have said. The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) says a record number of vehicles are being cloned to escape motoring fines and commit crimes. More than 40,000 sets of number plates were stolen in 2006, a rise of almost 25%, according to police estimates." -BBC News

2) NO2ID is the UK-wide non-partisan campaign against ID cards and the database state. Scroll down for a list of 'database state' initiatives that NO2ID is actively opposing. The NUJ is an affiliate of NO2ID:

3) What is informally called the "ID cards" policy is now officially known as the National Identity Scheme (See: ) It is intended to function as a compulsory "identity management" system for all permanent and temporary residents of the UK, having multiple layers:
* The National Identity Register (NIR);
* Individual checking and numbering of the population;
* 50 categories of personal details made "registrable facts" to be disclosed and kept updated;
* Collection and checking of biometrics (e.g. fingerprints);
* The ID-card itself (and other documents made equivalent to an ID card);
* Official scanner and computer networks nationwide connected to a central database;
* Widespread use of compulsory "identity verification"; and
* Data-sharing about citizens between organisations on an unprecedented scale. See for a summary of the potential problems.