Passports: Theft

Home Department written question – answered on 16th July 2008.

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Photo of David Hamilton David Hamilton Labour, Midlothian

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department has taken to prevent the sale of stolen passports.

Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Identity)

The Identity and Passport Service provides, on a regular basis, details of all processed reports of lost, stolen and destroyed British passports to Interpol and the UK Border Agency. It also offers a passport validation service (PVS) to approved organisations that are subject to UK money laundering legislation. PVS enables these organisations to confirm that a British passport, which is presented by the holder to support a transaction, is current and has not been reported lost, stolen or recovered. When applications for passport renewals are received by IPS, there is an automatic check that the expiring passport has not previously been reported lost or stolen. Steps such as these reduce the value of stolen British passports, because they are more likely to be identified should they be used to operate financial services to enable travel or to be used to obtain a new passport in a false identity. This reduces the value and hence demand/sales of lost and stolen British passports.

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