Tuesday 09 August 2022

Border police hit back at Almere council over passport chaos

An emergency passport. Photo: Wikipedia

Border police have criticised Almere council for flooding them with requests for emergency passports following an IT breakdown.

The local authority says it is unable to issue passports or ID cards until August, leaving people whose passports are about to expire unable to travel.

After the council told residents to ask the military police force Marechaussee for an emergency passport, the force issued 230 passports in a week, compared to one or two in a normal week.

Marechaussee spokesman Mike Hofman told Omroep Flevoland that there were more requests than usual because people had let their passports expire during the coronavirus lockdown, but Almere’s actions had added to the burden.

‘We can’t replace the municipality as the issuer of passports or ID cards,’ he said. ‘We can only issue an emergency document under strict conditions and it’s only valid for one specific journey. It’s not a replacement for a regular ID card or passport.’

Hofman said the process was time consuming because the border force has to carry out security checks on the whole family before issuing an emergency document.

‘That’s difficult at the moment, because we use an excerpt from the personal records database (BRP), but the municipality isn’t issuing those either at the moment. So we have to find other ways to verify the identity of the applicant.’

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