900,000 unsolved crimes
I know this will be hard to believe, but Blair may well have used another faulty argument in his recent email supporting Identity Cards:
I believe that the National Identity Register will help police bring those guilty of serious crimes to justice.
They will be able, for example, to compare the fingerprints found at the scene of some 900,000 unsolved crimes against the information held on the register.
The Ministry of Truth:
what the police actually have is 900,000 unidentified ‘marks’ (i.e. fingerprints) from crime scenes, which includes multiple fingerprints from individual crime scenes, partial fingerprints that are useless for matching against the biometric data to be held in the National Identity Register and, of course, unidentified fingerprints that are of no relevance whatsoever the crime that took place at a particular scene.
The Ministry also makes a very good point about believing the assurances of Government Ministers rather than the actual text of the legislation.
Update 22 Feb 2007
Don’t take the Ministry’s word for it – take Blair’s!
Police, who will have access to the national database, will be able to compare 900,000 outstanding crime-scene marks with fingerprints held centrally.