No one is perfect. Not even the Home Office
In a bizarre UK News story, the BBC Scotland uncovered an embarrassing security blunder after launching an urgent investigation.
A Home Office spokesman said that they take this matter very seriously and that the security of personal information of British citizens was of “paramount importance” and that they would without any delay re-issue passports to everyone affected in an efficient and timely manner.
The problem spawned after Charmaine Firth, a mortgage adviser from St. John’s town of Dalry in Scotland, applied for a UK passport earlier in this month.
She was scheduled to receive the passport the Friday before last but the delivery left her surprised. The envelope which was supposed to contain her new passport instead held a passport that belonged to a man from the nearby town of Twynholm.
Firth could not get in contact with the HM Passport Office to report the problem, so she used Facebook to find the man from Twynholm.
On being contacted, he told her that he was sent the passport of a woman from Newton Stewart, and not Charmaine’s.
When Ms Firth then contacted the woman from Newton, she said she had the documents of Glanville Jones, 94, from Kippford. The plot thickens…
Meanwhile, Mr Jones was sent the passport of a person named Evie Whyte, an 18 year old woman who lives in Port William.
Clearly, the issue caused a lot of confusion. Jones recalls,”A girl phoned me yesterday, she hadn’t got her passport but somebody had told her somebody had got mine.
“And she wondered whether I’d got hers – but I hadn’t, it was a different girl’s that I’d got.”
“I am bothered about it, I don’t think it’s right really. I thought about phoning the MP actually.”
Ms Evie said she was also sent the wrong passport but she returned it to the Passport Office immediately.
Mr Jones said he posted Ms Whyte’s passport to her, while the man from Twynholm picked his passport up personally from Ms Firth.
Ms Charmaine Firth herself has not yet traced her passport and is now understandably concerned that her personal information might be at risk.
Uk news and UK immigration news
The Home Office official advice to people who have found themselves in this situation is as follows: contact HM Passport Office to arrange for the passport to be returned.
A spokesman for the Home Office apologized for the confusion and said effective steps were being taken immediately to ensure that it would not happen again.
“Due to human error a small number of customers had their passports mis-delivered,” he said. “We would like to apologize for this and for any inconvenience caused.
“The security of our customers’ documents is of paramount importance. We are in contact with the customers affected, to recover the mis-delivered passports and re-issue new passports quickly.
The Spokesperson also stated that the Passport Office takes this matter extremely seriously and will take steps to ensure that these incidents are never repeated again.
The SmartMove2UK is a niche immigration law firm specializing in matters of UK Visas. Incidents like the ones mentioned in this article make it of paramount importance that Visa applicants to the UK ensure they keep a reliable record of all the information they have handed in and all the processes that they are obliged to follow in a visa application process. This is to avoid any confusion due to ‘human errors’ or other unforeseen circumstances that might befall. We are all humans after all.
Immigration advisers like The SmartMove2UK will help you with just that: clarity in your UK Visa process.
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