Clubbers face scans


Iwan Berry

CLUBGOERS in Llandudno now face mandatory ID scanning machines in a move that has angered civil rights groups.

The Flex ScanNet machines have been introduced at Club 147 and the Broadway Boulevard, in a bid to root out fake identity cards.

Customers will be asked to bring ID in the form of identity card, passport or driving licence with them, and once their details have been placed the system they will be identified during future visits to the venue via a fingerprint scanner.

The equipment, bought by the Conwy and Denbighshire Community Safety Partnership and North Wales Police, is capable of cataloguing customers, calculating their age and linking with the Pubwatch scheme to prohibit banned customers.

Julie Sheard, Community Safety Inspector, said: “This, coupled with increased sanctions for premises persistently selling alcohol to under-18s, has led to many premises taking age verification much more seriously.

"It has also led to a growing market for false ID, which can cause problems for those dealing with the issue.”

PS Paul Williams, Central Licensing Officer, said: “The plus for the club is that they will then have a database of people they can email to come to special nights at their venues.

“The plus for the police is if there is a nasty incident, we can ask for a trawl of the people in the club that night and utilise the information and photos they have on their system.”

Emma Carr, deputy director of civil liberties and privacy group Big Brother Watch, said: “Any information held on an individual that could lead to them to be refused service should be in the aftermath of police proceedings, rather than on one doorman’s say so.

“The main question should be why clubs need to store this data at all?”

Jim Killock, Chief Executive of the Open Rights Group, said: “I think it’s extremely troubling that’s it’s felt it’s okay for people to have their movements monitored.

“It’s fine to use it to check people’s ID as they have a legal duty to do that.

“But it’s excessively intrusive to ask people to log in to the club to have a drink.”

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