Avoidable mishaps are costing Brits GBP5 million a year in replacing lost or damaged passports, new statistics have revealed.
Data from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has found more Brits are being careless with their passport and ‘avoidable’ cases at the office has soared 300% compared to last year.
Excuses for gaining emergency documents include using it as a beermat or notebook; putting it in the washing machine by mistake or it expiring. The FCO’s estimate of GBP5m was accumulated from the cost of obtaining emergency documents including passport photos and travel to the Embassy while overseas.
Consular services now issue 80 emergency documents a day, with 28, 783 issued in the last year. The FCO has now advised travellers to take more care with passports in an attempt to reduce the number of cases.
“Our staff deals with people every day who require ETDs for a range of reasons. Some are victims of crime, but we also hear of passports being damaged carelessly, like becoming damaged after being hidden in the freezer,” said Will Middleton, consular director for southern Europe.
“These are situations that could have been avoided and end up costing holidaymakers valuable time and money. We strongly advise people to look after their passport, keep it safe and check its validity well in advance of travel,” he added.