Tackling the fake or fraudulent use of ID

Humberside: Police, licensees and education settings are working together to prevent young people becoming vulnerable

21 Apr 2017

We are teaming up with pubs and clubs across Hull, East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire to raise awareness in the implications and dangers of young people using other people’s ID or bogus ID.

This follows reports from licensed premises that young people are increasingly trying to enter using fraudulent using passports or driving licences – often belonging to older siblings or older friends.

This is not only fraudulent, but also puts young people into a position were the effects of alcohol can leave them extremely vulnerable. In some cases they have left themselves exposed through intoxication to becoming extremely ill or even sexually exploited.

Inspector Alex Weeks from the Community Safety Unit said: “There are a lot of young people that will try and use a fake ID or someone else's to get into venues. They see it as something of a success if they get past the door staff. What they don't appreciate is that the age restriction in place are there to protect them, as they are more susceptible to the effects of alcohol. While drunk young people are more likely to act in an irresponsible manner leaving them vulnerable to being the victim or offender of crime.”

The use of fake, altered or use of someone else's ID, is an offence and can lead to a criminal prosecution for those using the ID or supplying of real ID to siblings or friends. The offence can result in individuals being charged or a fine.

Alex Weeks added: “We are working closely with licensed premises asking them to seize any fake or fraudulently used ID. The driving licences and passports that are often used will then be returned to the DVLA or the passport office. In the case of the passport the issuing office can and often does then refuse or delay in issuing a replacement given that the document has been returned under fraudulent circumstances. Those caught using them may also be visited by officers re-iterating the issue and taking appropriate action with those involved to prevent further offending.”

“I appreciate for many young people getting into clubs or being served in pubs is a game and is often seen as a rite of passage to adulthood, however I would urge them not to risk putting themselves in harm’s way or even risking a criminal record which could limit their future hopes and aspirations.”

What many young people don’t appreciate is that there is an impact on licensed premises too. For instance premises where underage drinkers are discovered could have their licences reviewed and face hefty fines – this is unfair when those young people have tricked their way in.

Mark Hall from the Welly Night Club in Hull said: “The police have the full support of the management team and security personnel at The Welly in this initiative. The misuse of ID has escalated significantly over the past few years and we see underage drinkers trying to gain entry to The Welly with older brother's or sister's ID, or their own doctored ID, every week. What people don't realise is that using ID falsely is a serious criminal offence, and they could get themselves into serious trouble.

“This practice also puts the clubs and pubs of Hull at risk. If underage drinkers were discovered in The Welly, for example, we could lose our premises license and we would close down as we can't trade without one. My advice..... Wait until you're 18!”

Simon Frankish from the Scunthorpe Pubwatch “We as premises operators in Scunthorpe are pleased to see Humberside Police taking a proactive stance on this matter. We do all we can to ensure that our businesses operate according to the licensing objectives but it remains a constant challenge for our door teams to keep under 18s out of our venues. Not only do we appreciate the vulnerability of minors but it is also not conducive to a healthy night time economy. To have juveniles wandering around a town centre in the evening is discouraging to adults as their behaviour sometimes shows their immaturity.

“We are lucky in Scunthorpe to have a strong relationship with both the police and local authorities and have in place a procedure for dealing with fake or altered I.D. We hand it over to the council’s licensing department who return it to the issuing authority. In the case of a driving licence or passport this can have serious implications for the true owner of the I.D concerned. It is good to see the police supporting our night time economies and working with the licensed trade in these challenging times in our industry.”

To support the message posters highlighting the issue have been circulated to licenced premises, schools, colleges and via local authorities. See attached.

Inspector Weeks added: “I would also ask that parents support this initiative as often they can see little harm in it. What they don’t realise is that unlike in their generation when most young people drunk lager, cider or beer; the young people of today are drinking large quantities of spirits in the same manner which can and has placed them in extreme danger as well as having serious health implications”