Police encourage teenagers to carry a PASS

Lancashire Constabulary is appealing to young people across Lancashire to leave their valuable passports and driving licences at home and carry a PASS card to prove their age.

The Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) is a national identity card scheme launched in June 2014 and endorsed by the Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and the Trading Standards Institute (TSI).

Carrying a card bearing the PASS hologram means young people can gain access to the goods and services to which they are legally entitled without having to risk carrying more costly documents such as passports or driving licences.

Officers across Lancashire are promoting the PASS scheme this week as part of an Alcohol Harm initiative which is seeing police forces across the country patrolling drinking hotspots as the college and university fresher’s season gets underway.

Prior to its launch, extensive research was conducted with retailers which showed the need for a standardised card design to greatly improve recognition and ease acceptance.

PASS has also been launched to combat fake proof-of-age cards which were becoming a widespread problem, with those who sell illegally to under-age customers liable to fines and the risk of losing their licence.

Chief Inspector Eddie Newton, Deputy Strategic Lead for Alcohol Harm Reduction for Lancashire Constabulary said: “The impact of alcohol harm on public services costs in Lancashire around £634m a year and accounts for 10 per cent of all crime which Lancashire Constabulary is committed to reducing.

“The new Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) 18+ Design Standard is a major step forward in the prevention of alcohol misuse and associated anti-social behaviour by underage drinkers.

“Young people are rightly concerned about taking their passport and driving licence with them on a night out, due to the risk of theft or loss, and they require a reliable document in order to prove their entitlement to purchase age-restricted goods.

“It is also hoped that the new PASS cards will lead to fewer people losing their valuable identity documents on a night out, which in turn will reduce offences such as identity theft and fraud.

“I am keen to assure all businesses that cards bearing the PASS hologram can be accepted with confidence and we are doing a lot of work to help raise awareness of the scheme.”

For further information about a PASS card please go to:  http://www.pass-scheme.org.uk/