The Foreign Office has reported the theft of 3,000 blank passports from a van that was taking them from the printing works in Manchester. The documents were blank and had not had any data imprinted on the embedded RFID chips, so the Identity and Passport Service is quoted as saying that this makes them useless to fraudsters.
Not so. All it does is make them very difficult to use at a UK port. British passports are traditionally very well respected (even if we were one of the last developed nations to introduce them for our citizens), and are very attractive indeed for fraudsters – particularly since they can use them to cross borders where the local infrastructure doesn’t support RFID readers. After all, any fool can laminate details onto a blank document – that’s not difficult to do – so it would seem inevitable that these documents will have been taken overseas. But so long as the problem doesn’t come here, and only erodes trust in UK passports overseas, that’s OK, isn’t it?