HUNDREDS of high-quality fake identification cards have been seized from young people in Mornington over the past 12 months as police crackdown on underage drinking and anti-social behaviour.
Acting Sergeant Daniel Patten, who monitors liquor licensing in the Mornington area, said easy online access to fake IDs was contributing to the problem of underage drinking and, in turn, violence.
“There is clearly a link between alcohol and violence in high-traffic areas like Main Street and so we are focussing our attention on working with young people and trying to stop the drinking,” he said.
Patten said fake Western Australian driving licences were the type mostly seized last year, but this year fake probationary driving licences presented challenges for police and venue operators.
“The online sites let the kids upload their own photos so the licences or security cards look genuine. I can spot the inconsistencies straight away because I see them all the time, but that’s not the case for everybody,” he said. “Last month alone I seized 30 of them from young people, which shows that kids just don’t seem to be aware of the damage they are doing to themselves with alcohol.”
The fakes can be bought for as little as $90, with some sites selling them for $180.
Patten said police wanted the message to get out to young people and their parents that using a fake ID was illegal. Young people found with fake ID will be fined and can be arrested.
It was concerning that most of the parents he had spoken to knew their child had a fake ID.
“The main problem is that alcohol is not safe for young people and we would ask that parents, if they know, show some leadership in this area and speak to your kids,” he said.
Police will continue to do spot checks at licensed venues and are working with Liquor Control Victoria to provide information to parents through parent groups and schools.
Anyone with information about the use or distribution of fake IDs should call Crime Stoppers on 1300 333 000.