Chester’s Watergate Inn pub landlord bids for new ID card to cut underage drinking
A LANDLORD wants to introduce a new ID card to cut down on under-age drinking.
Chester Pubwatch joint chairman Frank Marnell is in talks with Cheshire police about a new Pubwatch pubpass.
Mr Marnell, landlord of the Watergate Inn, Watergate Square, said: “We had a meeting with the police two weeks ago and we are looking to do our own ID card in Cheshire and want to take it to the national Pubwatch.
“We feel, as licensees, we should have one as there are so many forgeries of driver’s licences and passports.
“Other cities such as Sheffield have already introduced their own ID cards.
“I think youngsters should be given one at 16 when they receive their National Insurance number.
“There can easily be 30 fake IDs confiscated in Chester a month.”
The pubpass proposals coincide with a national independent report which claims the Government teenage ID scheme is failing UK businesses as one in five youngsters buy false IDs.
The report, by Clarity Commerce, says youths are getting around the ID scheme by using fake ID cards with one in five buying them over the internet and the majority using them to get into clubs and pubs, followed by shops that will sell them alcohol, cigarettes and knives.
The survey also reveals 78% of over-18s admitted they had leant their IDs to under-age youngsters to get into a club and 27% to get into a pub.
Sgt Mandy Shaw, of Cheshire police, said: “The most common problem we have seen is people swapping ID with an older sibling or friend.
“The other problem is people buying the European driving permits which look very similar to the driving licence and can be bought online.”
The report comes at a time when the Government is attempting to combat teenage crime with its Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS), however only four per cent of respondents to Clarity’s survey would sign up to the scheme and 71% had never heard of it.
Mr Marnell said: “There have been several ID schemes introduced but none have lasted.
“We need an ID card.”
Cruise nightclub manager Nick Harding said: “As part of entry to our club people have to show a valid form of ID, either a driver’s licence or passport.
“If there was an official Cheshire ID card backed by the police and Pubwatch we would support it.”
A Cheshire West and Chester (CWAC) spokesman said: “Last year a survey of 13,000 North West teenagers, aged 14-18 years, carried out by the Trading Standards Institute revealed 44% of these in the top end aged group carried false ID.
Executive member for area and community services Cllr Lynn Riley said: “Any scheme that will help to eradicate the problem is to be commended.”