Scarborough bars to use ID scanners to catch underage drinkers

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BARS in the centre of Scarborough will be deploying ID scanners to reduce under-age drinking, keep out troublemakers and improve the safety of the town’s night life.

Bar 2B, The Barbican, Blue Lounge, Bar Hush, Quids Inn and Vivas are taking part in the six-month pilot scheme which is being funded through the Safer Communities Partnership.

Licensees say the scheme will help them detect fake IDs, prevent under-age drinking, Door staff will see a simple cross on a computer screen if someone uses fake ID, or tries to get into premises they have been banned from.

They will also see a cross if the same ID is used twice by different people and can check the person with the ID is the legitimate holder.

Alongside the scanners will be fingerprint recognition software, which will mean returning customers will only need to have their age verified the first time they visit a premises if they give permission for their fingerprints to be scanned. The technology is set to be in place from Friday but there will be a month-long “period of grace” that will give customers time to get used to the scanners and door staff the opportunity to use their discretion over entry. It will then be compulsory for people who look 30 and under to have valid ID if they want to get in.

The scanners are likely to be used during weekends and on Wednesday nights when Scarborough town centre pubs and bars are at their busiest.

It is one of a wave of initiatives that are being rolled out as part of the town’s local alcohol action area status,

Lee Knaggs, the designated supervisor from Barbican, said: “It’s good to see the police and council working together with licensees to improve the safety and enjoyment of the Scarborough night life.

“The scanners are commonplace in a growing number of big towns and cities in the UK and the evidence suggests they are an effective tool to help tackle under-age drinking and disorder and help keep people safe.

“Door staff will be able to tell instantly if a person is using a fake ID or if someone has been ejected from other premises earlier on in the night for causing trouble and whether someone has been banned from licensed premises as part of the Pub Watch scheme, bail conditions or an ASBO.

“The information may also be used by police if they’re investigating an incident, which, importantly for victims of crime, makes it more likely an offender will be brought to justice.”