A TRAINING session has been held in Portsmouth aimed at helping business owners to be on the lookout for forged banknotes.
Police in the city say they have seized dozens of fake notes during the past four months.
And around 30 retailers will now be able to keep a sharper lookout after getting the training from Hampshire Constabulary at the Salvation Army’s Haven headquarters.
It was organised by the Portsmouth Business Crime Reduction Partnership, the police and the Bank of England.
Sergeant Rob Sutton from Portsmouth’s City Centre Unit said: ‘Retailers are the first line of defence in detecting and retaining counterfeit notes and it’s with their help that the Bank of England can find out where this money is coming from.
‘The amount of counterfeit money in circulation is the UK is relatively small, and we want to keep it that way.
‘Last week’s training for shop workers and police officers looked at the Bank’s procedures for dealing with counterfeit money and how to spot the difference between fake and genuine notes.
‘They then got the chance to try it out for themselves.”
Since the start of the year, police have seized 69 fake £20 notes in Portsmouth, including 16 Scottish notes. Det Con Dave Anderson from Portsmouth CID added: ‘Every report is dealt with on a case-by-case basis and we will investigate each further, particularly if there are links to other areas of criminality. The notes are returned to the Bank of England which records the number of bank notes taken out of circulation. It’s a crime to be in possession of a known counterfeit note or coin if you intend to pass it off as genuine.
‘Counterfeits can be readily identified by checking a number of security features present in genuine bank notes but which are either missed or badly imitate in fakes. I’d urge retailers to always keep an eye out when handling money and to report any counterfeits to us.’
Business owners can contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101 if they believe they have been given counterfeit currency. They should note the description of the person they believe handed the note over and any vehicle they were seen using.
For more information about PBCRP, please visit pbcrp.com
To find out more about forged notes and how many are recovered, see bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes