Fake passports found at UK borders down 40 per cent

UK passportThe number of forged passports spotted at UK borders has dropped by 40 per cent since 2007, according to a BBC report.

Last year UK border officials found 1,858 forged passports, down from 3,300 in 2007. The drop comes in the wake of cuts at the UK Border Agency (UKBA), where headcount has dropped by 4,000 in two years. UKBA said other factors are behind the fall in fake passport finds though.

"There is a long-term trend of [border detections] falling but that's because we're so successful in finding it overseas and stopping forged documents getting to the UK in the first place," Rob Whiteman, chief executive of the UKBA, told the BBC.

In recent years the UK has introduced biometric passports to make it harder for counterfeiters to forge British passports. The UKBA also claims it is running more rigorous checks before people arrive in the UK.

The data - gathered by the BBC under a Freedom of Information request - only covered forgeries found at UK borders. While this figure is going down Whiteman said UKBA is "constantly finding more forgeries overseas."

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