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Volume 464: debated on Thursday 11 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make a statement on the incidence of identity theft. (156886)

Identity theft and the fraudulent use of identity details is an extremely serious issue, and in 2003, we set up a public-private sector work programme to tackle all aspects of this problem.

Since this time, we have strengthened legislation and introduced tougher criminal penalties, provided more powers to share data to combat fraud, sought to ensure better co-ordination in prosecuting fraudsters, and worked extensively to raise public awareness of this issue. Our plans for a National Identity Scheme will provide people with a highly secure means of protecting their identity and help citizens to prove their identities easily, quickly, simply and with vastly improved security.

The range of activities that we are undertaking are vital if we are to protect ourselves from the misuse of identity through organised crime, illegal immigration and working, and fraudulent access to public services.