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Air passengers will be forced to give 90 pieces of personal information


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Air passengers will be forced to give 90 pieces of personal information in new terror crackdown


Last updated at 18:26pm on 14th November 2007 commentIconSm.gif Comments (15)

• Electronic checks to be made on every passenger entering or leaving the country, whether by air, sea or rail

• Information will be checked against 'watch lists'


• Unwanted immigrants will be turned around


• Rail passengers face having their bags searched


• Home Office minister in startling U-turn says he is 'convinced' time limits for detention of terror suspects should be increased



Passengers will have to fill in up to 90 separate pieces of information before they will be able to travel into or out of the country under new anti-terror measures signed by minsters today.


The information each passenger will have to submit to the Home Office will include name, address, passport number, journey details and even whether the traveller had special dietary requirements.

It is understood the original list has since been slightly slimmed down, and that the requirement for data on meals - which could in some cases have indicated a person's faith - has been dropped.

The sweeping new measures come as part of a new £650 million contract signed by minsters today that will herald the introduction of electronic checks on everyone entering and leaving the country.

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baggageES0808_468x305.jpgThe E-borders system will monitor every passenger travelling into or out of the country




Gordon Brown will also spend £400m on tackling radicalisation, a new police and security service and security improvements at railway stations, airport terminals, sports stadiums, ports and more than 100 "sensitive installations" as part of the new anti-terror measures announced today.

Rail passengers face having their bags searched and screened under the new anti-terror measures.

The crackdown on terror appeared to have been carried out over the head of the government's security minister. Home Office minister Admiral Lord West was today forced to do an embarrassing U-turn just an hour after publicly criticising Gordon Brown's plan to raise the time limit on the detention of terror suspects without charge.

He later said he was in fact "convinced" that there was a need to raise the time limit.

The list of 90 pieces of information that every passenger must provide will lead to major changes in the processes passengers have to undergo at ports, airports and international rail terminals.

Including the cost of remodelling and rebuilding at ports, the entire e-Borders project - with arms manufacturer Raytheon Systems Limited - will cost £1.2 billion, a Home Office spokesman said.

Raytheon will lead the technology project - providing machines such as passport and fingerprint scanners - as part of a consortia named Trusted Borders.

Companies such as airlines and ferry operators will have to hand the government detailed passenger and crew data prior to their departure to and from the UK.

The electronic system will then screen all passengers before they travel to the UK against immigration, customs and police "watch lists".

Unwanted immigrants - such as those with an exclusion order or deportation order against them - will then be denied entry.

Others whose names appear on the lists, such as people wanted by police, may be allowed to come here and face instant arrest.


025jacquismith_228x332.jpgJacqui Smith said that the new measures would mean Britain's borders would be more secure


After being analysed, information on travellers will then be distributed to border agencies, police, security service and other agencies.

The new system means the Home Office will experiment with different ways of handling passenger "flows" in ports and airports, possibly changing the sequence in which checks and baggage collection take place for arriving passengers.

The e-Borders system will also help build up a picture of the true number of illegal immigrants in Britain, by keeping track of visitors who overstay on visas, for example.

Successful trials of the new system over the last two years have already led to 16,000 alerts being raised by the checks and to 1,250 arrests.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: "These are the most sweeping changes to our border security for decades. "A unified border force means a stronger British border.

"All travellers to Britain will be screened against no fly lists and intercept target lists and, together with biometric visas, this will help keep trouble away from our shores." She added: "As well as the tougher double check at the border, ID cards for foreign nationals will soon give us a triple check in country.

"Together this adds up to some of the most advanced security anywhere on the globe."

At least 60% of the annual 216 million passenger movements will be covered by the end of 2009, and 95% by 12 months later.

The remaining 5% - mostly very small ports with low, hard-to-track volumes of passengers - will be covered by March 2014.

President and managing director of Raytheon Systems Limited, Brian McKeon, said: "We are extremely pleased to have been selected for this important.

"We are honoured by the confidence that the Home Office has placed in us, and we look forward to working closely with them to deliver an integrated, secure border for the 21st century."

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