Passport chaos: Couriers found to have lost hundreds as anxious holidaymakers chase applications

1000’s of passports and key paperwork had been misplaced by couriers final 12 months – even because the variety of passport purposes plummeted, in accordance with the Every day Mirror.

A Freedom of Data request confirmed that though solely 4,823,620 passports had been issued in 2021 (greater than 6,600,000 had been typical previous to the pandemic), 1,196 had been recorded as “misplaced throughout supply by courier”.

In 2020 simply 519 passports – practically half the 2021 determine – had been recorded as misplaced by couriers, whereas in 2019 the determine was 437.

The brand new figures present that the variety of journey paperwork mislaid by couriers has steadily climbed, regardless of the variety of passport purposes falling.

Though it would take some months for 2022’s figures to be recorded, it’s the most recent growth in weeks of passport chaos, as a whole bunch of hundreds of Britons wait weeks for his or her journey paperwork amid delays and backlogs.

This spring has seen a surge in post-pandemic passport purposes, with the Residence Workplace not too long ago advising holidaymakers to permit 10 weeks or extra for a renewed doc to be returned. The same old time-frame for an grownup passport is 5 weeks.

There are an estimated 500,000 purposes at present ready to be resolved.

Final week junior Residence Workplace minister Tom Pursglove admitted that this 10-week time-frame was not ‘assured’, with many travellers saying they’ve waited longer.

Whereas answering MPs’ questions on the passport delays in Parliament final week, Mr Pursglove revealed that one in 70 passport purposes has been within the system for longer than the 10-week goal.

The Residence Workplace, which oversees HM Passport Workplace, has promised that 700 new employees will be a part of the division “by summer season” however for now the backlog appears to be like set to proceed.

Many holidaymakers have tried to hurry up their journey paperwork by taking place to their native Passport Workplace, with seen queues reported outdoors Peterborough’s native workplace. Others have complained about sitting on maintain for hours after phoning to check out their software.

Nonetheless, yesterday monitoring web site Passportwaitingtime.co.uk reported that wait instances are “stepping into the best path”.

Based mostly on its crowd-sourced knowledge, the present common ready time for an grownup passport renewal is 23.35 day (or somewhat over three weeks), with a primary time grownup passport longer at 36.45 days (greater than 5 weeks).

A primary-issue youngster’s passport is taking a median of 38.01 days to reach, whereas a renewed youngster’s passport has a median ready time of 24.63 days.

A Residence Workplace spokesperson stated that almost all of passport purposes had been being accomplished inside 10 weeks, with the most recent figures displaying 90 per cent had been accomplished inside six weeks.

They added: “Between 1 January and 31 July 2021 HM Passport Workplace despatched over 3.3 million objects to its clients. Whereas regrettable, lower than 0.04 per cent of these had been reported as having been misplaced throughout supply, and plenty of of these objects have been subsequently recovered.

“The security of our clients’ private knowledge is of paramount significance and each try is made to recuperate misplaced or mis-delivered paperwork. As soon as reported, passports are cancelled on the system instantly with the intention to mitigate towards the chance of misuse and we proceed to work with our supply companion to develop measures to cut back the variety of losses total.”

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