HC Deb 09 November 2001 vol 374 cc499-500W
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. [11959]

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.

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.