During the years many people have been trying to come to the UK by using fake travel documents to enter the country. Recent researches show that the number of fake documents spotted by the UK border guards has almost halved in the last 5 years. In 2007 for example there were about 3, 300 fake passports collected by the UK border Agency, while last year they were 1, 858. This information has been obtained by BBC through a Freedom of Information request
UKBA states that this decrease is due to the strict measurements taken and improved security, however some critics do not agree the level of fraudsters trying to enter the UK with fake documents is down. They say it is possible that the statistics is wrong, as the Border Agency has been cut, which means there are 4, 000 fewer people to be looking for fake documents, when compared to the number of staff two years ago.
According to UKBA biometric data on the passports and the detailed checks before entering the UK played a very good role in preventing fraudsters from entering the UK.
Rob Whiteman, The UKBA chief executive said: “Overall we’re doing a good job in that we’re constantly finding more forgeries overseas. The amount, therefore, that we detect at the border, there is a long-term trend of that 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.”
Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee said the drop in numbers of fake passports should not lead to complacency and that the Border Agency should prepare itself to deal with more determined attempts at illegal entry.
He said: “These are very, very sophisticated people. We’re not dealing with some granny somewhere in the world who says ‘I want to get in’. We’re dealing with gangs of people who are making billions of pounds out of forged passports and that’s why our system has to be very secure.”