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Brighton clubs install scanners to catch underage drinkers after police sting
5:00am Tuesday 8th April 2014 in News
Club managers have been praised by the police for their swift response to being caught out by an undercover operation.
Management at Brighton clubs Wahoo and Funfair have installed high-tech scanners at their venues after their staff were caught serving underage drinkers during the operation by Sussex Police in February.
The force’s licensing team have praised the swiftness of the two late-night venues response after they were four of six city-centre venues caught selling alcohol to customers as young as 16.
They say the willingness of managers to cooperate has saved time and money from the public purse.
Other venues caught selling alcohol to underage customers in the operation, Al Nakahl in West Street and Paris Cafe in Fenchurch Walk, have also taken action in light of the operation’s findings.
They have removed staff they say were acting outside of instructions while new policies have now been put in place.
The scanners have been credited with helping reduce thefts, drug dealing, assaults, underage drinking and the use of false IDs as well as giving detectives the breakthrough in a number of serious crimes since their introduction in a small proportion of late-night venues in the city over the past 18 months.
The scanners, which can cost as little as £50 a week to hire, can verify IDs, have biometric capabilities including fingerprint technology and can link to databases of barred punters.
Jean Irving, licensing and public safety manager for Sussex Police, said: “We could have taken these venues through the review process but this way is quicker and a lot cheaper for everyone involved.
“Through mediation and mutual engagement, both venues have accepted there were problems and are determined to put them right.
“This is a very positive move.”
Funfair co-founder Tava O’Halloran said: “We were shocked, horrified and really disappointed that there were holes in our system which we have now rectified.
“Teenagers are taking their brothers and sisters’ IDs and there are really good fake Ids. Kids will try anything to get in.
“We have brought in a new door team and with that and the ID scanner we hope that this won’t be a problem any more.”
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