Fake IDs flood Derry bars

A Derry bar owner has warned that the influx of fake IDs into the city will see a larger number of underage drinkers abusing alcohol in the run-up to Christmas.

Les Doherty, who is one of the owners of the Bound for Boston said there had been a "marked increase" in recent weeks in the number of young people presenting fake IDs at the bar hoping to make it past the doormen.

"The problem with these fake IDs is that they are now more sophisticated than ever. On Saturday night alone our security seized five fake IDs which to the untrained eye would look absolutely genuine.

"It is hard for us to keep up with technology such as this. These IDs are coming out now with holograms on them which would fool a lot of people."

Of the five IDs seized on Saturday night one was said to be an international driving permit, one an electoral identity card and there were replicas of the national identity card.

It is thought these cards are being bought from a website which, Mr Doherty said purported to be selling the items as a "joke".

"It's no laughing matter and it's disingenuous for them to try to deny any knowledge of young people buying the IDs for the purposes of getting into licensed premises.

"We do our best to keep our staff trained to know what to look out for but when you are fighting technology such as this you are fighting a losing battle.

"What we will end up with is more young people in Altnagelvin feeling the after effects of abusing alcohol."

He said this was particularly worrying in the run-up to Christmas when more young people would be looking to get out and about and into bars.

Mr Doherty called for a clamp down on internet sites selling fake IDs and said if things continued the way they were going bar owners would have to take drastic measures.

"We're trying to be sensible, but what next, retinal scanning?"