§ Mr. Dobson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many newly issued passports were lost in the post in each of the last five years; how many were subsequently recovered; and how many duplicates were issued. 
§ Angela Eagle
[holding answer 6 November 2001]: The United Kingdom Passport Service only has information available for 1999 onwards on issued passports lost in the post. The figures for passports lost in the post and total passports issued are as follows:
Year Lost passports Passports issued 1999 2,359 5,134,172 2000 3,851 5,495,704 2001 11,474 14,890,941 1To September 2001
Information on total recoveries of passports is currently not routinely collected.
The figures for passports lost in the post are derived from reports of losses from members of the public and therefore all of these passports should have been replaced. There is an upward trend in the number of passports reported lost and this is of some concern to us.500W
The new digital passport has enhanced security features. These features would make it extremely difficult for someone who is in possession of a stolen passport to alter the document for use in a false identity.