UK Liberty

0.0035% of people screened by e-Borders are arrested

Posted in database state, stupid, surveillance society by ukliberty on March 11, 2009

And yes, that’s arrested, not charged or convicted.

The Daily Mail:

Holidaymakers have been warned to expect long delays at airports after the Home Office chose to bring in a security system at one of the busiest times of year.

Travel firms said any unresolved problems with the e-Borders database, which electronically checks passengers coming in and out of Britain, could hold up check-ins and flights. 

The £1.2billion database was supposed to come in last October, but delays mean it will be imposed when millions are heading off on Easter breaks. …

One leading travel firm has warned ministers that the new timescales are ‘too tight to be met’ and the plans have become ‘illogical and unachievable’ with too little time for ironing out technical issues. 

Political expediency trumps expert disagreement.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said last night: ‘We aim to detect terrorist suspects, known criminals and would-be illegal immigrants before they can do harm.’ 

She said that in pilot schemes e-Borders has screened more than 82million passengers – leading to more than 2,900 arrests – and testing of the system should be largely completed by May. 

2900 arrests out of 82 million passenger screens.  Cost of over £410,000 per arrest.

No information on charges or convictions – possibly because they make it look even less worthwhile.

I have to wonder, is it worth it?

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6 Responses

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  1. Doctor_Wibble said, on March 12, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    I seem to recall the US-VISIT programme had a success rate of a similar order of magnitude, costing several hundred thousand per arrest.
    1.3 billion dollars got them around 1500 ‘adverse actions’ though this includes denial of entry, not just arrests.
    [ from US GAO-07-1044T which is a testimony to a committee ]
    For fun, there’s also GAO-07-278 “Planned Expenditures for U.S. Visitor and IUmmigrant Status Program Need To Be Adequately Defined and Justified”.

    Apologies if this is a ‘repeat reference’, partly justifying to myself why I keep copies of these things…

  2. ukliberty said, on March 13, 2009 at 11:24 am

    I think it bears repeating.

    Many thanks.

  3. James Hammerton said, on March 15, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    It’s an arrest rate of 1 in 28,276. I wonder how much money the government is spending on this and what it works out per arrest…

  4. ukliberty said, on March 16, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    James, the arrest rate is many times worse than that for stops and searches under s44 Terrorism Act.

  5. […] (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/09/eborders_manchester/) (in pilot schemes, 0.0035 per cent (http://ukliberty.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/00035-of-people-screened-by-e-borders-are-arrested/) of people screened were arrested); the location of your mobile phone had better match the country […]


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