Thirty fake IDs - including several passports, which had to be invalidated and sent back to the relevant passport offices - have been seized from underage drinkers in Londonderry over the past fortnight.
Constable Larkin, the licensing officer, said that those who had documents seized would now have to contact the Passport Office or Driver and Vehicle Licencing to get their documents back.
“That could lead to delays, during which the documents would not be available for travelling or for establishing identity in financial transactions,” he said.
In fact, United Kingdom passports recovered in the course of police duties should be returned to the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) and for security purposes, prior to returning any passports to the IPS, the returnees should cut off the top right-hand corner of the passport’s front cover before posting it.
This prevents it from being used again, according to the Home Office.
Police in Londonderry say they have noted an increase in the number of underage teenagers trying to gain access to licensed premises with other people’s identification documents.
They are warning that there are consequences both for those who attempt to gain access and for those who permit others to use their personal identity documents.
Constable Larkin indicated that it’s a particularly idiotic practice for relatives or friends to lend passports to those underage in order to help them get into pubs and clubs as this could easily result in travel plans being thrown into disarray.
He said: “We have ascertained that some young adults are willingly giving their identification documents to friends and family members, but are obviously unaware of the consequences, especially around passports.”
“In the past two weeks we have seized approximately 30 forms of identification, a mixture of fake IDs, passports and driving licences, and I am in the process of having these returned to the authorising bodies,” concluded Constable Larkin.