Fake ID teens could face arrest
Teenagers who carry or use fake driving licences are in danger of being arrested.
Lancashire Police and Lancashire County Council Trading Standards have issued the warning after a group of pubs and clubs in Burnley and the Ribble Valley recently confiscated a number of counterfeit cards.
Underage youngsters buying false ID through online websites to obtain age restricted products are not only committing a serious offence but are leaving themselves open to having their identity stolen.
PC Martin Midgley, who is investigating a number of offences, said: "Historically the sale of ID cards in the UK has been of the novelty variety which are easily spotted by staff when used by under 18s to try and buy alcohol and tobacco.
"At the moment we have a number of exact copies of UK driving licenses which have been counterfeited by adding photos and personal details of naïve under-18s. This information is often sold on to those who will steal the identities of these people in the future."
Insp. Andy Winter said: "We are disappointed that unscrupulous individuals have committed quite serious crimes in counterfeiting UK driving licenses to allow young people to buy alcohol.
"The pub and nightclub industry have handed over 20 of these to police recently and we believe there are many more in circulation. If you have bought one of these items you need to contact police now. Telephone us on 101 to assist with our enquiries and avoid prosecution."
County Coun. Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council with responsibility for Trading Standards, said: "Responsible traders in Lancashire who sell age restricted products, such as alcohol or cigarettes, are working with Trading Standards and local police to ensure that age restricted products do not get into the hands of young and vulnerable people.
"Unfortunately their efforts are being undermined by the use of counterfeit ID cards. Our close partnership between local traders, Trading Standards and police means that suspicions about counterfeit ID are reported promptly and wherever possible action taken against the individuals concerned."
Trading Standards are reminding local traders that they should only accept a passport, driving licence or nationally accepted proof of age standards scheme (PASS) card. Trading Standards encourage traders to operate 'Check 25' and ask anyone who appears under the age of 25 for an approved form of ID before selling an age restricted product.
More information on Lancashire's Check 25 county scheme can be found at www.lancashire.gov.uk/lancan.
Retailers who accept counterfeit ID cards or non-approved forms of ID could leave themselves open to prosecution if they sell age restricted products to minors.
The counterfeit driving licenses at the centre of this police investigation can be easily identified as:
• The hologram over the photograph is a sticker and not within the licence
• The serial number on the reverse bottom right is the same (FB92831710)
Lancashire Police have been passed a number of counterfeit driving licenses and their investigations are ongoing.