Using a fake ID or borrowing a sibling’s identification to gain access to a pub or club might not seem like a big deal to young people, but that’s about to radically change in Torbay thanks to a new police and council scheme.

Up until now, door staff in Torbay’s busy night time economy have seized ID suspected of being used fraudulently, but it is common for older siblings or parents to contact the premises the next day to try to negotiate the return of the ID.

From 1 October 2014, ID seized at many of Torbay’s licensed premises will be placed into a secure safe and collected by the police. The ID will then be logged before being returned straight to the issuing authority. This means that a driving licence will be returned to the DVLA, a passport will be returned to Her Majesty’s Passport Office etc. If the ID is not fake but has been borrowed it will be the responsibility of the person who owns it to contact the issuing authority. Fake ID will be reviewed by the police and investigated as appropriate.

Councillor Robert Excell, Torbay Council's Executive Lead for Safer Communities, Highways, Environment and Sport, said: “We’ve all been young and we fully understand that some young people will take risks, but licensing laws exist to protect us. Torbay Council and Devon and Cornwall Police are committed to protecting young people from harm which is why we have introduced this scheme and we believe it will act as a significant deterrent to young people within the environment of our night time economy.

“This scheme is firm and the consequences for some may be severe, which is why we recommend that all parents, guardians, carers and older siblings make themselves familiar with it. Whilst we recognise that a number of adults will be inconvenienced greatly if they find that their ID has been seized due to fraudulent use by a young person they know, it will not be the fault or the responsibility of the licensed trade, the police or the council. As adults we are personally responsible for the ID that is issued to us and for its use. Young people under the age of 18 who attempt to illegally access licensed premises are also responsible for their own behaviour.”

Parents and guardians are also being asked to contact the police on telephone 101 if they are made aware that their child/children have fake ID in their possession. Producing and distributing fake/fraudulent ID is a criminal offence and the police will attempt to identify the origins of fake IDs.

Acting Community Safety Sergeant Jeff Coe, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “Torbay has a vibrant and well managed night time economy, but it is not an appropriate environment for those under the age of 18 for a variety of reasons. Devon and Cornwall Police are committed to preventing crime and protecting children and young people. Young people under the age of 18 consuming alcohol within the night time economy are vulnerable and that vulnerability can make them more likely to become the victim of crime or take risks that they may not usually take in other circumstances.

“We are grateful to a number of licensed premises within Torbay who are proactively supporting the work of the police and the council to implement schemes like this, as well as other measures to raise standards of behaviour and prevent alcohol related crime and disorder. Torbay’s night time experience is predominantly a safe one which is recognised by its Purple Flag status. We will continue to work in partnership with the trade who are pivotal to maintaining and improving the night time experience for residents and visitors.” 

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