Lost passports 'suffer odd fates'

28 April 2011 12:38

A report by the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) found that nearly 300,000 UK passports need to be replaced every year

A report by the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) found that nearly 300,000 UK passports need to be replaced every year

Some of the more unusual reasons given by Britons who have lost their passports include an armed robbery in Brazil, a drunk boyfriend and donations to the homeless, officials have revealed.

A report by the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) found that more than 10,000 passports a year are thrown out with the rubbish, while a further 10,000 are lost during nights out in bars or clubs.

It said that nearly 300,000 UK passports need to be replaced every year, with 162,500 going to men and 112,000 to women, and each costing at least £77.50.

A study of the reasons given by Britons for the loss of their passport revealed one was taken when a taxi was attacked by a gunman while on its way to the airport in Brazil - highlighting the need for an appropriate level of travel insurance, including adequate cover for theft.

Others British passports have fallen out of bags while snowboarding, been left in the pocket of a coat donated to the homeless, or gone up in flames after being left in old clothes that have been set on fire.

One passport was destroyed by a drunk boyfriend, "now ex", the officials said, while another was put in the bin by an infant daughter.

Sarah Rapson, chief executive, IPS, said: "Your passport is not only increasingly attractive to fraudsters, but it will cost you at least £77.50 to replace, so it's really important that you keep it safe both when you are at home and when you're abroad.

"Remember to put your passport away after use. Don't leave it in a trouser or shirt pocket in the laundry pile."

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