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Volume 406: debated on Thursday 12 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate his Department has made of the number of lost and stolen passports in circulation in the UK. [117128]

The UK Passport Service (UKPS) records information on passports reported lost, stolen or unavailable. The information UKPS has recorded for the last five years has been shown in the following table:

Passports lost, stolen or unavailable
A proportion of passports are reported lost or stolen at British Diplomatic posts abroad. This coupled with the fact that the UK Passport Service does not routinely receive notification of passports recovered by other authorities, makes it extremely difficult to make a reasonable estimate as to the number of such passports in circulation within the United Kingdom.The UKPS is introducing a more comprehensive system for recording and disseminating information on lost, stolen and recovered passports. This system is due to go live in December of this year. It will enable the timely and accurate collection and dissemination of information on lost, stolen and recovered passports in the United Kingdom and by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) posts abroad.