Thames Valley Police fake ID checks 'disappointing'

An operation to check the number of bars and clubs able to spot a fake ID has been described as "disappointing" by Thames Valley Police.

Of 95 licence premises shown the ID in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, only seven realised it was fake.

Another 52 did not even make any checks, officers said.

The operation was carried as part of a national alcohol licensing and harm initiative.

Ben Clarke, licensing team co-ordinator for Thames Valley Police, said: "It is not illegal to accept fake ID, although it is obviously illegal to serve those who are under 18, who are generally the ones who carry it.

"Retailers or licensed premises who sell to underage people risk a fine of up to £5,000 and losing their licence to sell alcohol.

"While it was disappointing that so many of the licensed premises failed to spot the fake ID, it is far more disappointing that such a large proportion didn't even request it in the first place, especially as many of them run Challenge 21 or Challenge 25 schemes, where they should ask for ID from anyone who appears younger than this age."

Police will be carrying out similar checks in the future, Mr Clarke said.

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