Travellers 'wait 73 days' before reporting passport lost or stolen

Home Office says nearly 400,000 passports are reported lost or stolen each year as it highlights the risks associated with not acting quickly.

Business travellers and tourists are being urged to quickly report their lost and stolen passports to prevent unrecovered and unreported documents from being abused.

Around 50 million people hold a UK passport of which about 400,000 are reported lost or stolen each year. It amounts to about 1% of all passports in circulation, however the document can be be used to commit identity crime or facilitate illegal travel across borders. 

But despite the risks associated with lost or stolen passports, people are waiting on average 73 days before making a report, say the Home Office.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: "When you lose your bank card, the first thing you do is contact your bank and have it cancelled, yet people don’t treat lost or stolen passports with the same urgency.

"But not reporting a lost or stolen passport can have severe consequences, such as people using your identity or attempting to use your documents to try to enter the country illegally.

"That is why it is absolutely vital you report your lost or stolen passport immediately: to help law enforcement agencies prevent people from entering the UK illegally, and to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity crime."  

Once a passport is reported as lost or stolen, HM Passport Office cancels it, and the details are handed to the National Crime Agency within 24 hours, to record the loss or theft on Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Document database.

Director of Action Fraud Pauline Smith said: "I know we can all get excited about going on holiday, and it can be easy to forget to take care of your passport, but the consequences of losing your passport can be severe. Not only will you find you have to pay the costs of replacing it, you may also fall victim to identity fraud."

Between 2010 and March 2018, Border Force officers denied entry to more than 144,000 people.

All lost and stolen passports can be reported online with a quick and simple to use system.

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