'

Home Office has received over 1,000 ID card requests

Jacqui Smith says over 1,000 pieces of correspondence to government on the biometric cards over the past two years have been classified as 'wants an ID card'

More than 1,000 messages asking for ID cards have flooded into the Home Office.

Over the past two years, 1,142 out of 3,073 pieces of correspondence to government on the biometric cards have been classified as "wants an ID card", according to home secretary Jacqui Smith.

Smith revealed the figures in a recent parliamentary written answer where she added that the cards appear to be growing in popularity.

"From October 2007 to September 2008, the number-one theme every month, accounting for by far the most common subject matter, has been 'wants an ID card'," she said.

The announcement follows Identity and Passport Service (IPS) research that found 55 percent of the public "agreed with ID cards" in November 2008, down from 60 percent in August.

Smith also said the Home Office planned to introduce a secure "web-based service" to allow people to check how much of their "core identity information" is held on the National Identity Register, the central-government database containing the personal and biometric information of ID cardholders.

She added that the IPS is in the process of procuring the system to run the web service from those companies bidding to produce the ID cards and run the National Identity Register.