18 March 2016
Underage youngsters caught trying to enter pubs and clubs in Dover and Deal with fake ID will be banned for 12 months after their 18th birthday.
That is the strong message from Deal Pubwatch which has reported a “sharp rise” in teenagers trying to illegally enter bars before they are of age.
“It is becoming increasing difficult to ascertain who is underage and who isn’t,” said Karen Griffiths, who co-ordinates the group.
The scheme hopes to stamp out underage drinking.
Pubwatch operates under the Dover Partnership Against Crime (DPAC) label, which allows traders of all kinds to communicate and work together to combat crimes that may affect high streets in the district.
The DPAC umbrella scheme was set up 20 years ago, purely in Dover, but now it has spread to Deal and Sandwich and has more than 120 members.
Places that have signed up include taxi companies, retailers, licensees and transport firms.
Members of the team who have a license to sell alcohol signed an agreement which means if one person is issued a DPAC banning notice, they will be barred from entering all members’ premises irrespective of different rules each place may have.
It was at an annual general meeting last week that the issue arose.
Mrs Griffiths said: “All present at the meeting were concerned for the youngsters’ welfare as well as the ramifications of inadvertently selling to an underage person.”
A Deal landlord who asked not to be named, said: “We encourage all patrons of the night time economy to carry ID and be prepared to present this ID as proof of age.
“Any customers with fake ID will be barred immediately and the bar will continue for a year after they turn 18.”
Karen Griffiths co-ordinates Pubwatch which comes under Dover Partnership Against Crime
The group has since agreed that a letter to all schools will help to combat this issue.
Mrs Griffiths has confirmed she will be penning a statement to all secondary schools in a bid to let pupils know of the consequences associated with entering an over 18 club illegally.
It will also contain information of the ban which will be issued.
Story courtesy of Kent On-line www.kentonline.co.uk