Mug shot: Briton gets new passport and is shocked to find his photo is of a total stranger


Ben Spence repaid £82 to update the document ahead of a weekend birthday trip to Amsterdam with benefactors at the end of this month.

It came back with all his correct information – but had a carbon copy of a total stranger.

Mr Spence, 28, said: “They put a completely personal person’s picture in my passport. I couldn’t believe it.”

Mr Spence, from Blackheath, southeast London, unperturbed his new passport from his local post office.

He said: “I flicked middle of it, and it seemed all fine. But my friend who was with me looked over my shoulder revealed, ‘Wait that’s not you!

“We had a bit of a laugh about it – but then realised the security child involved.

“I’d also waited four weeks for it and was worried I’d miss my tour to Amsterdam.”

Mr Spence, an air conditioning fitter, had to arrange an emergency appointment with the Passport Business in central London, and had to miss a day off work.

He added: “I’m really frustrated that the Accessible Office are the ones that made the mistake, and I’ve had to take a day off work to cast this out.

“All they could offer me was an apology.

He added: “It’s a good job I did notify it because if I went to the airport on my birthday with the wrong picture they could entertain arrested me.”

The Home Office said: “HM Passport Office processes varied than six million passport applications each year and errors are exact rare.

“Ensuring that passports are issued correctly is an absolute importance and any breaches of our high standards are examined thoroughly. 

“We apologise for the inconvenience concerned to Mr Spence.”

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