Mid Devon District Council’s Licensing Enforcement Officer has come up with an initiative that could be help fight underage drinking and it is being supported by the police and Trading Standards.
The PASS (Proof of Age Standard Scheme) is promoted by the Home Office, but a lot of retailers have been reluctant to accept it because of fears about forgery and the risk of losing their licences. This has led to some young people taking their passports out with them, which is not a good idea, while others without a passport or a driving licence are left without any way of convincing some retailers that they are old enough to drink.
Mid Devon is promoting a contract with retailers about agreed identification cards. The idea is that all alcohol retailers in Mid Devon will agree to accept PASS cards and will display notices in their windows to say so. Young people will have the opportunity to find out what ID they should apply for and will be confident that it will be accepted.
There will be a series of training workshops for retailers to participate in and sign up to the scheme, which not only secures agreement on acceptable identification but also puts a protocol in place for how ‘fake ID’ may be dealt with. These workshops will involve council staff, the police and Trading Standards as well as the card providers, and should help give retailers much more confidence in this field.
Bob Cartmel, chair of the Crediton PubWatch and licensee of the Mitre in Crediton told the Devon Week: “This is a fantastic idea that will really help licensed premises in Mid Devon.”
Neil Atkins, chair of the Tiverton PubWatch licensee of the White Horse, Tiverton added “We’re really pleased that the Council is supporting the licensed trade in this way, and it’s helpful that they are working with the police and Trading Standards”.
Work is also being carried out with other agencies, some education, in this for local schools and colleges which will help young people be aware not only of identification but other alcohol-related issues will also be dealt with.