Wrexham Council have said 72 forms of ID have not been claimed and sent back to the Passport Office or DVLA after they were confiscated when used for underage drinking.
The Council say there is a ‘growing trend for underage drinkers to use passports and driving licenses of their friends or family in order to get into pubs and clubs’, and is being tackled in partnership by the council and responsible bar owners in the town centre.
Wrexham Council have said: “It might seem like a great idea but trying to access alcohol by using identity document that belongs to someone else is serious criminal offence as is lending the document for that purpose. For young people starting out in life a conviction could seriously damage future plans for careers and travel.”
Since January any ID offered as proof of age that actually belongs to somebody else is being kept and sent to Wrexham Council’s public protection department who keep it for a couple of weeks until it is claimed.
The Council explain: “To get passports or driving licenses back, both the owner and the person who was using it will have to attend an informal meeting where all the implications of identity fraud are explained. Only when this session has been satisfactorily attended will the identity document be returned.”
If ID is not claimed they are sent back to the DVLA or the Passport Office to be destroyed, with it noted that the issuing authorities are made aware of the circumstances and ‘may refuse to issue replacement documents’.
As a warning, the Council note: “There is then the real risk that when a new passport or driving licence is applied for it could be refused and anyone who was planning to go on holiday could be in for a big surprise when they realise their travel is restricted.”
The idea behind the clampdown is to reduce the amount of under-age drink, with 75 ID’s kept since the end of January. Only 3 have been claimed so far, with the other 72 sent back to the issuing authority.
Parents are now being asked to check their child still has their passport and / or driving licence, and if they suspect they have been used in the manner above they are advised to contact trading standards on 01978 297455.
Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, said: “The message is clear Don’t borrow ID and don’t lend ID – it could lead to you losing your passport or driving licence altogether and being refused a new one as it’s been used fraudulently. Is that a risk worth taking?”
“The law is also clear and is there to protect young people from the dangers of drinking underage – a night to remember could easily become a night to forget if a young person gets drunk and separated from their friends, they can quickly become vulnerable and the consequences could be very serious. Parents and carers are urged to look out any important missing documents that may have been retained by vigilant door staff.”