Crackdown on drinkers who use fake ID in Portsmouth pubs

CRACKDOWN A typical Thursday night in Guildhall Walk.   Picture: Paul Jacobs (101666-12)

CRACKDOWN A typical Thursday night in Guildhall Walk. Picture: Paul Jacobs (101666-12)

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UNDERAGE drinkers face being hauled out of bars by police in a crackdown on fake IDs.

Extra officers are being drafted in to help Portsmouth’s licensing team catch under-18s out as part of Operation Babyface.

Police will be doing checks in bars across the city and door staff at pubs and clubs are seizing documents and cards they believe to be fake or borrowed and reporting young people carrying them.

Underage drinkers caught with a fake or borrowed ID, driving licence and passport will be quizzed by police and will have their dodgy documents confiscated.

Their parents will be informed and culprits will be referred for sessions with a Youth Offending Team.

Repeat offenders face a police caution – and a criminal record.

PC Keith Hall from Portsmouth’s licensing team said: ‘At some venues youngsters try to get in before the door staff start to avoid being asked for ID.

‘We will be entering the bars and clubs and looking for people who are underage.

‘People think it’s a laugh but it’s not – it is a criminal offence and what we are trying to do is protect young people and the licensees.

‘We don’t want people drinking underage – you are not doing anybody a favour.’

Officers have seized more than 2,000 fake and borrowed IDs since launching Operation Babyface in Portsmouth two years ago.

The crackdown has proved so successful that it is used by the Home Office as an example of best practice.

PC Hall added: ‘We’re driving this because we are in the run-up to Christmas and New Year which have historically shown a peak in young people trying to enter venues with fake and borrowed documents.

‘We have to deal with each case individually.

‘We have a 100 per cent success rate for people being referred to a youth offender panel – nobody has reoffended.

‘If people are eligible for a police caution – which results in a criminal record or a full prosecution – we will deal with it by means of an interview.’

Tonight’s operation is part of Portsmouth police’s continuous drive to reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder across the city.

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