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Home Office unveils new UK passport

Better security, lovely pictures

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The Home Office has said that new UK passports with 'strengthened security features' will be issued from October.

To make the passports more secure, the chip which stores the holder's details has been moved to the inside of the passport cover so it will no longer be visible, the Home Office said.

The new 10-year passport will also have a transparent covering which will display several holograms to protect the holder's personal details, and a secondary image of the holder printed onto the observations page.

"Through its combination of physical and electronic security features, the UK passport remains one of the most secure and trusted documents in the world, meeting rigorous international standards," said Sarah Rapson, chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service.

"The new design is part of our strategy to stay ahead of criminals who look to fraudulently alter or copy passports."

Other new security features include images of well known UK scenes that will be created through special printing techniques, "which will give UK citizens added protection from identity theft and fraud and ensure speedier travel across borders".

As part of the redesign, the personal details page of the passport will be moved to the second page in the passport booklet. The Home Office hopes that this will help speed up travellers' passage through border controls.

The new passport will replace the current UK ePassport, which was upgraded in 2006 with the addition of an electronic chip to hold the owner's details.

De La Rue will take over the contract for passport production in October 2010 when the current contract expires. The value of the 10 year contract is £400m.

This article was originally published at Kable.

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