TEENAGERS have been tampering with their own passports to trick their way in to pubs and clubs.

Door staff and landlords in Colne have handed in six forged passports and five fake driving licences over the last month.


Now police have launched a crackdown on licensed premises after seeing a spike in forged identity documents and they have warned that anyone caught tampering with their passports and driving licences they could face up to 10 years behind bars.

Officers said youngsters have been doctoring their documents at home by removing numbers from their passport number and then placing them over their date of birth to make them appear older.

In each of the cases officers have called the teenager in to the police station with their parents for a stark warning.

Police said if the situation continues they will look to prosecute the fraudsters.

PCSO Ivan Hartley said: “At the moment we’re getting quite a few 16 and 17-year-olds who want to go out in Colne.

“What they’re doing is changing the date of births on their passports and driving licences.

“We’re trying to make people aware that it’s illegal, you go straight to crown court and face a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

“If you’re underage and caught with alcohol by an officer you also face six months imprisonment and £1,000 fine.

“At the moment we are bringing parents in and explaining the seriousness of what their children are doing.

“But if it continues we will look to prosecute.

“In light of what’s going on we will be stepping up the amount of operations we do in licensed premises.”

PCSO Hartley said that teenagers were sticking numbers over the date of birth section of their passports or driving licenses to make it appear they are 18 or over.

They are then going to pubs and bars in Colne, most of which operate under the ‘challenges 25’ initiative, where anyone who looks under 25 is automatically asked for identification, and attempting to con door staff into letting them in.

Possession of false identity documents with improper intent carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

A licensee risks losing their licence and/or a fine of £20,000 if they are caught persistently selling alcohol to anyone under the age of 18.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said he was concerned by the new trend.

He said: “To use fake IDs is a criminal offence and to tamper with a legitimate passport or driving licence is also against the law.

“It must be very concerning for the law-abiding landlords in Colne who are trying to run a business and provide a safe environment for people to legally have a drink.

“It may sound like a bit of fun but I would remind these teenagers that it’s against the law to tamper with a passport.

“I hope that if and when they are caught police take the appropriate action.”

Cllr Dorothy Lord, of Pendle Central ward, said: “This is very serious and landlords need to remain vigilant to it.

“Teenagers need to think about the consequences of what they’re doing.

“It’s not the most sophisticated of plans and these teenagers seem willing to do anything to get a drink.

“Parents should be checking their teenager’s passport or driving licence and taking responsibility for what’s going on.”