Call for ban on fake ID sites

13 July, 2007

Retailers back Trading Standards Institute over sale of "novelty" cards

Drinks retailers are backing a crackdown on websites that sell novelty ID cards.

The Trading Standards Institute called for a ban on the websites after a survey revealed tens of thousands of under-18s carry fake ID, with nearly half of them buying cards on the internet.

Off-licence staff

said a ban would lessen the danger of them breaking the law.

Bhuphander Singh, of Bargain Booze in Reading, said he had decided to install an infra-red light machine

to check that ID was genuine after failing test purchases. He said: "We do have problems with fake ID and we've been caught out three times now. This ban would definitely help us."

Saj Lokat, owner of Campus Wines in Selly Oak, Birmingham, said retailers could lessen the danger by only accepting driving licences or passports as proof of age. "I don't accept anything other than a driving licence or passport and it's the same with the pubs in this area. That way you won't get caught out," he said.

Fake IDs can be bought on the internet for as little as £10, but are not illegal as long as they do not resemble official forms of identification.

Brandon Cook, the TSI's lead officer on under-age sales, said: "Young people buy these cards with the express aim of trying to prove they are older than they really are. This completely undermines our work to encourage retailers to check a person's ID before selling age-restricted products to them - and for this reason alone they should be banned."

The survey, carried out by Trading Standards North West, found that 7 per cent of children aged 14-17 carry false ID so they can buy age-restricted products or get into pubs and clubs.

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