Up to 20m passports 'not being checked' properly in UK each year

Up to 20m passports could be going unchecked each year in the UK. Photo: Press Association

If you think that someone travelling with a stolen passport is going to get stopped and checked, you're wrong.

Interpol are clear that countries aren't doing enough checks against its list of stolen passports. They actually calculate that possibly one billion passengers, last year, were travelling without being properly checked.

Interpol actually says the UK and America are two of the good countries on this but looking at this today, we have found gaps in the UK's checks.

The Home Office told ITV News tonight they only get 90 per cent of the advanced passenger information - that's the information from passports that allows them to check against Interpol's list - so that's ten per cent of passengers that aren't being properly checked before they fly in and out of the UK.

Doing our sums, that could be as many as 20 million passengers a year going in and out of the UK that aren't having proper checks.

The Home Office are clear they want to try and make sure that they can get a better figure and make sure that there aren't 10 per cent of passengers that aren't having their passports properly checked.

All British passports reported to Her Majesty’s Passport Office as lost or stolen are immediately cancelled and are invalid for travel.

For foreign passports that have been reported as lost or stolen the UK has access to the Interpol Lost and Stolen database and is able to run checks against it.

The UK receives Advance Passenger Information (API) – the biographic information in an individual’s travel document – for in excess of 90% of passengers flying to, or from, the UK. We have significantly increased the proportion of passengers providing this information over the last five years. We are working to improve our coverage even further.

The National Border Targeting Centre (NBTC) runs API data through a number of watch lists including the Warnings Index and our ‘no fly’ scheme to identify those who may pose a terrorist threat from travelling or out from the UK and to take appropriate security measures.

– Home Office spokesperson

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