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New Kit in City bars to Help Prevent Underage Drinkers

5th December 2014

New kit in city bars to help prevent underage drinkers

Police in Newcastle will be trialing a new ID system in some of the city’s most popular night spots as part of a night time safety initiative made possible by Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird and Newcastle City Council.

Officers have received funding through the Night Time Levy for a new scanning system allowing door supervisors to scan people’s IDs before they enter the premises.

The electronic door entry scanners will let door supervisors check identification such as driving licences, passports and proof of age cards before people are allowed into pubs, bars and clubs.

Not only will this help identify if the IDs are fake, allowing door staff to confiscate the ID and prevent underage drinkers entering the city bars but also help account for people’s safety.

The ID scanners are being introduced at Perdu and Tiger Tiger with two further venues planning to introduce them in the New Year.

The door supervisors have also received essential vulnerability training through the nationally acclaimed specialist course devised following research by the Office of the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner.  This training enables staff to make empathetic judgements which puts safety of the patron first.

The Late Night Levy is a partnership scheme between the Police and Crime Commissioner and Newcastle City Council.

Superintendent Bruce Storey of Northumbria Police said: “Newcastle is a safe place to be and we are proud to be a part of this city.

“Working with licensed premises is vital in keeping the city safe and this is another great example of their continued support.

“We want to stress that this initiative is about keeping people safe – it is not about ‘Big Brother watching you’.

“We hope these new systems will deter underage drinkers coming into the city. We aren’t here to stifle their fun – we just don’t want them to break the law as it could really ruin their lives. If we see underage drinkers, we will take action and this could affect their future prospects if they end up with any sort of a criminal record.

“We also hope the new systems will reassure party-goers that they are in safe premises, which police work closely with and I hope it encourages more premises to come on board to support police operations.

“At the end of the day, we all want to achieve the same results and want everyone to enjoy their time in the city as safely as possible.”

The operation runs as part of Northumbria Police’s night time economy strategy – which aims to keep people safe on a night out and prevent anyone becoming vulnerable through alcohol.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has worked and consulted with local partners to ensure the money used for the Newcastle-based scheme is spent in the best way to improve safety in the city centre.

Vera Baird said: “Any new scheme which helps protect people as they enjoy themselves in busy parts of Newcastle city centre is to be welcomed and this is a very worthwhile initiative to invest in as we look to keep people safe on nights out.

“The use of scanners by door supervisors is an effective way of using existing ID which is found in most wallets and purses, while also providing a way of checking that people are who they say they are.”

Mrs Baird added: “I’m delighted that a large number of local club owners and publicans have embraced our new vulnerability programme for door supervisors.

“This programme provides them with useful pointers to help get people home safely and reuniting them with family and friends.  It’s great that both the venues which are introducing the scanners have already had the foresight to put their door staff through this training programme.

“The vulnerability training has been endorsed by senior politicians and shows we are doing well – with help from our partners we are building on this success and implementing ways of keeping people safe as part of the forcewide night time economy strategy.”

Cllr Stephen Powers, Cabinet Member for Community Safety at Newcastle City Council, said: “This new system will help to keep underage drinkers out of the city’s pubs and clubs – and out of harm’s way as well. The Late Night Levy is a way of raising additional funds for safety initiatives in our city centre and this is a great example of how that funding can be used to protect young people. We look forward to seeing this technology in operation.”

Oliver Vaulkhard, Managing Director of Fluid Group, said: “We are always looking for innovation and new ways of doing business and our team believes that the ID Scanner will  become an effective component in helping to continue the safety we enjoy in our venues and Newcastle city centre.”

For more information about Northumbria Police’s night time economy follow @NorthumbriaPol #staysafe #stayincontrol or search online for “Northumbria Police Alcohol Advice.”

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