UK leads pan European e-identity programme

A new e-identity scheme will see cooperation right across the EU.

Nov 1, 2007
By Paul Jacques
Neil Corbel

A new e-identity scheme will see cooperation right across the EU.

When school caretaker Ian Huntley was convicted at the Old Bailey on December 17, 2003, of the murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, the Home Secretary announced the launch of an independent inquiry into the manner in which the police had handled intelligence about Huntley`s past and about the vetting processes which ultimately led to his employment in a local school.

The Bichard Inquiry – under Sir Michael Bichard, Rector of the London Institute and a former Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education and Employment – examined the effectiveness of Humberside and Cambridgeshire police forces` relevant intelligence-based record keeping, vetting practices and information sharing with other agencies.

It had emerged that Huntley, a caretaker at Soham Village College, had been subject to vetting for the post, including police checks, but these revealed no relevant information about him. However, Huntley had previously lived for some time in Humberside and after the verdict, Humberside Police disclosed that between 1995 and 1999 there had been a series of incidents involving allegations of sexual offences committed by Huntley.

Greater interoperability with information that all UK police forces routinely query was one of the key recommendations of the Bichard inquiry. As a result, Project Stork is the first attempt to design and implement an electronic ID system that can be accessed by any police force across Europe. The UK is spearheading this new initiative which is expected to cost £14 million and involve the cooperation of 13 European countries.

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