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Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Terry Glenn is a cowgirl, Oct 16, 2006.

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    Jan 22, 2005
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    Passport photograph of girl's bare shoulders rejected 'as it may
    - London Telegraph

    A five-year-old girl's passport application was rejected because her
    photograph showed her bare shoulders.

    Hannah Edwards's mother, Jane, was told that the exposed skin might
    be considered offensive in a Muslim country. The photograph was
    taken at a photo-booth at a local post office for a family trip to
    the south of France.

    Because of the way the camera was set up, the picture came out
    showing Hannah's shoulders.

    The family had it signed and presented it at a post office with the
    completed form but were told that it would not be accepted by the
    Passport Office.

    A woman behind the counter informed them that she was aware of at
    least two other cases where applications had been rejected because a
    person's shoulders were not covered.

    Mrs Edwards, a Sheffield GP, said: "I was incensed. I went back
    home and checked the form. Nowhere did it say anything about
    covering up shoulders. If it had, I would have done so, but it all
    seems so unnecessary.

    "This is quite ridiculous, I followed the instructions on the
    passport form to the letter and it was still rejected. It is just
    officialdom pandering to political correctness.

    "It is a total over-reaction. How can the shoulders of a
    five-year-old girl offend anyone? It's not as if anything else was
    showing, the dress she wore was sleeveless, but it has a high neck."
    Hannah had her first passport when she was three months old. Her
    mother and her father, Martin, realised that it was due to expire
    during their holiday later this month and decided to renew it

    They aimed to complete the application on Saturday, the same day
    that Hannah was to be Sheffield Wednesday football team's mascot at
    Hillsborough stadium. Mrs Edwards was also on call from her

    After the rejection at the post office, Mrs Edwards spent two hours
    taking Hannah for new pictures, filling in a new form and finding
    the necessary "responsible citizens" to endorse the photos.

    "The people who had signed the original application were not
    available," Mrs Edwards said. "I had to chase around and eventually
    found a neighbour who was a teacher to sign the pictures.

    "The Passport Office should set this sort of thing out in its forms
    if it is going to be so pedantic."

    A spokesman for the Identity and Passport Service said it was not
    its policy to reject applications with bare shoulders.

    "The guidance set out on the application form doesn't include it,
    this picture should have been absolutely fine," she said. "If
    people follow those rules there should be no problem.

    "The Post Office obviously has its rules and we can't comment on
    that. We are aware of a case in the past where an error was made
    involving similar circumstances, although I don't know the exact
    details. Staff should be aware of the rules."

    A Post Office spokesman said: "Our offices have a Passport Office
    template which says what the photograph should and shouldn't be.

    "Bare shoulders don't come into that at all. We can't see any
    instruction to that effect so all we can do is apologise to Mrs
    Edwards. It was clearly a mistake made by the clerk at the post

    "It is the first time we have heard of such a rejection and we will
    take it up with that particular office.

    "We do around three million passport applications a year. It is one
    of our most popular services and it is normally extremely effective.

    "We have a much lower rejection rate compared to applications
    submitted directly to the Passport Office."

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