Purpose of Fingerprinting Aslyum Seekers

Below is the reason given by the Home Office for fingerprinting Asylum seekers

The purpose of fingerprinting asylum claimants is to positively identify them and also to identify and deter multiple asylum claims at national and international level. Fingerprinting is also targeted at deterring asylum shopping’ within Europe by recording fingerprints on, and checking fingerprints against, the Eurodac tabase. The Eurodac system is a Europe wide fingerprint database which was established by community regulation supporting the Dublin II Regulation and therefore forms part of European Community Asylum law. The fingerprints of all applicants from the age of fourteen are recorded on, and checked against, the Eurodac database.

The full home office document in relation to this is available here – fingerprinting-asylum


Fingerprints for Immingrants

14 January 2008
Ten point plan for border protection and immigration reform – first milestone met as fingerprint checks go global

The global rollout of fingerprint checks on all visa applicants is complete three months ahead of schedule, and millions under budget, the Government announced today.

In a wide ranging speech to Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) staff, the Immigration Minister Liam Byrne congratulated agency officials and set out a challenging ‘deal for delivery’ in 2008, to secure the largest shake up to Britain’s border security and immigration system for 40 years.

Anyone applying for a visa from 133 countries covering three quarters of the world’s population now have their fingerprints checked against UK databases. Nearly 500 cases of identity swapping have been spotted already.

Full story on the home office site here

Police with handheld Fingerprint Scanners

Police in the UK are rolling our more and more hand held computers with ability to read fingerprints on the spot.

This technology will allow police to fingerprint members of the public on the street, effectively at random.

The Police Minister Tony McNulty has published a plan to provide 100,000 handheld computers at the cost of £50 million. Uses for the computers will include confirming identity, on-the-spot forms such as stop and search, and scanning fingerprints.

Tony McNulty Police Minister

Tony (pictured inset) voted strongly for ID cards, for the Iraq war, and against an investigation into the Iraq war. He also voted against a transparent parliament.

The technology known as LANTERN is described as:

Lantern is a mobile hand-held fingerprint device which enables police officers to check a person’s identity in an operational environment without having to return the police station. The device works by electronically scanning the subject’s index fingers and sending them wirelessly to national fingerprint database (IDENT1) to be searched. A response is then returned to the officer within two minutes. The result will either confirm that there is no match, (the person is not on IDENT1) or it will return the name and details of the person listed, including crime reference number, date of birth and gender, as well as the level of confidence in the result(high, medium or low).

Fingerprint Children

Date: May 2007

Home Office minister Liam Byrne told ITV1 television’s The Sunday Edition that the Identity and Passport Service wanted to fingerprint all children over the age of 11 and keep their particulars on a database.

The reason, he said, is because it is currently possible get a 10 year passport without biometrics while a child and still be carrying it validly at age 17, the age at which a biometric passport would be issued to someone who applied afresh for their travel permit.

He did not say that it would be necessary to fingerprint children as young as eight, perhaps because an anti-biometric campaign has been building quite steadily against the idea of fingerprinting children below the age of 10.


Liam Byrne, pictured inset, is the Labour MP for Birmingham, Hodge Hill. In the past he voted for Liam ByrneID cards, for the Iraq war, and against any investigation into the Iraq war.