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Youths warned not to use fake ID
Police have warned under-age youths not to use fake identity cards to try and trick their way into bars and clubs.
Bouncers in Hastings and St Leonards have seized about 100 fake ID cards in the past few weeks, sparking fears that the problem is escalating.
Police are now investigating each case, which include seized passports and driving licences as well as forged ID cards.
Inspector Warren Franklin, from Sussex Police, said: "We are currently researching all of these cards as most of them have the picture of the person who produced them and their address. We do get some very interesting and amusing stories about how allegedly some of these items were lost by the owners after they have been seized.
"It is simply not worth risking getting a criminal record just to have a drink. Your future job prospects and career opportunities could be badly affected if you decide to take the risk.
"We will continue to target alcohol-related offences within Hastings and St Leonards alongside our partners. We are aiming to further reduce public place violent crime by cracking down on the number of under 18s drinking in the town."
The stark warning comes as a trial of ten 'clubscan' systems are rolled out in pubs and clubs across West Sussex.
The scanning system can read more than 200 forms of identification, including passports from 162 countries. It captures the picture and information in two seconds. Details can then be burnt onto a disc and passed to the police where necessary.
After a three-month trial in West Sussex, 80 per cent of venues adopted the scheme permanently. Now the scanners are set to be put in more and more clubs and pubs over the next few months.
Jean Irving, West Sussex violent crime reduction manager, said: "The scanning system is a great tool which enables venues to know who is inside the club or pub.
"There are also many benefits to customers, including a reassurance that everyone's identity would have been verified. We hope that more venues across the area will start using the scanning systems."
Last October a new law was passed called the Identity Card Act, which makes it a criminal offence to possess anther person's ID card without reasonable excuse.
Anyone under eighteen years of age who try to gain access into pubs or clubs by using a friend or sibling's passport, driving licence or fake identification is liable to be arrested and have their fingerprints, photograph and DNA taken. The driving licence or passport is then sent back to the relevant agency with an explanation of how police obtained it.