Skip to main content

Passports: Fraud

Volume 463: debated on Monday 1 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many forged or false passports were seized at Heathrow and Gatwick airports in each of the last three years; and how many of those were from children. (154950)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: The activity of Airline Liaison Officers (ALOs) based overseas together with other border control initiatives, has resulted in a fall in Inadequately Documented Arrivals (IDAs) reaching the UK from 11,233 in 2004 to 6,915 in 2006. Over the last five years the ALO Network has assisted in preventing nearly 180,000 IDAs from boarding aircraft.

Under carriers liability legislation, air and sea carriers may be liable for a charge of £2,000 for each person they carry to the UK who is subject to immigration control and who fails to produce either a valid immigration document satisfactorily establishing his identity and nationality or a valid visa, if required. Carriers' liability is now an important complement to our immigration control. Over 60 other countries, including most of Europe, have carrier liability legislation.

Figures for forged and false travel documents detected at Heathrow and Gatwick airports for the past three years are as follows:

Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport

Number

2004

3,305

2005

2,164

2006

1,695

The information provided is based on locally collated management information and as such may be subject to change.

Data relating to the age of those presenting such documentation are not available.