Passports: Lost Property

Home Department written question – answered on 6th July 2010.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Conservative, Harlow

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department

(1) what discussions she has had with Interpol about sharing information on lost or stolen UK passports with private businesses;

(2) what estimate has been made of the number of passports lost or stolen in each year from 1997 to 2009; and what information her Department provided to businesses seeking to check whether a passport had been lost or stolen during that period.

Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Minister for Immigration

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) provides lost and stolen passport data to Interpol via the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) on a daily basis, to assist with the international policing of borders. This arrangement has been in place and meeting the requirements of the organisations concerned since 2004. There have been no discussions with Interpol regarding the sharing of information on lost and stolen passports with private businesses. However, since 2006 IPS has provided a Passport Validation Service (PVS) to a number of United Kingdom based accredited financial and legal services. The service allows these accredited financial and legal services to check the validity of UK passports presented to them by customers directly against IPS records. The accredited private sector organisations using the PVS service do so via a call centre, providing the PVS with details of the passport in their possession and PVS will confirm the validity of the passport or otherwise. If the passport presented is shown on IPS records as lost or stolen the organisation is informed that the passport is invalid. Personal details or the reason for not being able to validate the details are not provided by PVS.

With regard to number of passports that have been reported to IPS as lost or stolen between 1997 and 2009, it is not possible to provide figures between 1997 and 2003, as the current system to record details of lost, stolen and recovered passports was only introduced in December 2003. Information relating to lost, stolen and recovered UK passports is therefore only available for the last six years (from 2004).

The following table sets out the number of UK passports that have been recorded by IPS as lost, stolen or recovered since 2004. The category "Other" is used by the IPS predominantly when a passport is declared damaged or destroyed.

Totals Number of lost passports Number of stolen passports Other
2004 275,040 212,745 50,737 11,558
2005 286,988 230,011 45,709 11,268
2006 290,996 237,879 41,830 11,287
2007 303,572 251,751 41,393 10,428
2008 296,018 249,261 38,120 8,637
2009 272,963 232,852 32,276 7,835

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.