Police launch fake ID campaign in Derry pubs and clubs

Launching the new licensing ID posters are, from left, Constable Paul Larkin, licensing offcer; Billy Campbell, Mason's Bar, Derry; and Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan, Foyle Area Commander.
Launching the new licensing ID posters are, from left, Constable Paul Larkin, licensing offcer; Billy Campbell, Mason's Bar, Derry; and Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan, Foyle Area Commander.

POLICE in Derry have initiated a new poster campaign designed to help young people and local bar and club owners in knowing the correct identity documents that can be used to gain entry to premises.

Constable Paul Larkin, the licensing officer for G District, said: “If people are lucky enough to look younger than 18, they can be asked for proof of identity before they are allowed into premises that sell alcohol.

“There is, though, some confusion, and indeed a few myths, on what forms of ID are acceptable.”

The PSNI Constable went on to detail the specific types of ID which are currently acceptable.

“In fact, only four types are legal: driving licenses; current passports; proof of age standards scheme cards, and electoral identity cards.

“Some people believe that a university or college student card is acceptable, but that is not the case.

“What we have found is that some people are acquiring fake ID documents over the internet.

“Some of those we have seized are very good approximations of real documents, such as driving licences, but they are not legal.”

Police in G District have started to distribute two posters to licensed premises, and this scheme is expected to roll out across the North.

One poster is designed to show the staff of licensed premises commonly used fake ID documents and the real documents that are acceptable as proof of age.

Constable Larkin added: “We accept that it can be difficult for door staff to accurately judge someone’s age and most are responsible enough to ask for ID.

“The poster will be a useful aid to them.

“A second poster is directly pointed towards young people. It makes it clear that it is an offence to use fake ID, tampered ID or someone else’s ID.”

Door staff have the right to seize any documents they think are suspicious and ban people from their premises.

People who try to get in using ID documents that are not legal also face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000, added Constable Larkin.

He said: “We have had a good response from the licensed trade so far.

“Licensees recognise the potential legal risks of under-18s getting access to their premises.”