ID Scan System Introduced To Belfast’s Night Time Economy
Paul Langsford, Director of El Divino Belfast, Constable John Guinness, Licensing and Paul Kelly, Manager of Eivissa demonstrate how the new ID system works.
As part of an ongoing drive to enhance the safety of Belfast’s night-time economy a number of licensed premises, working in partnership with the Police Service of Northern Ireland have pioneered the introduction of an ID scan system in their premises.
Commenting on the system, Superintendent Nigel Goddard, who is responsible for Operations within South and East Belfast says:
“This system assists the licensee while also supporting a safer night-time economy throughout the city. It provides a mechanism for door staff to definitively check an individual’s identification. It calculates and displays the customer’s age and generates an alert message if the person is underage. It also determines if the ID has expired, it will establish whether or not it is authentic and also highlight if the ID was presented earlier on the same night. This helps to ensure that people are not sharing various forms of identification with younger friends or siblings to get them access when they are underage.
“If an incident does occur within the premises such as an altercation or a fight and a premises opts to ban a customer for a period of time, they can attach this piece of information to the identification. If the person then attempts to gain entry during the ban, the door staff are aware and entry can be refused. Where a number of licensed premises are operating the system this information can be viewed by all parties, which means that door staff can be made aware of any potential issues”.
The ID scan system has been operating in two licensed premises in Belfast, El Divino and Eivissa for a number of months. It has also recently been introduced in Thompson’s Garage.
Paul Langsford, Director of El Divino Belfast and Paul Kelly, Manager Eivissa discuss some of the benefits of the ID scan:
“Since we’ve been piloting the system there have been a number of examples of where it has added value. Both premises have been able to detect multiple individual’s attempting to gain entry using one person’s identification. We’ve also had an instance where it has shown that a customer at the premises had a ban imposed at licensed premises in England, due to the fact that the system is UK wide”.
Recorded incidents of non-domestic violence with injury have decreased in South and East Belfast. From April 2013 to 19 October 2013, there were 1,027 recorded incidents in comparison to 1,045 incidents across the same period in 2012. This represents a decrease of 1.7% or 18 fewer offences.
Police deployment around the night-time economy has also been revised to enhance visibility in key areas and this is reviewed on an ongoing basis in line with statistical analysis of reported incidents.
Other initiatives aimed at supporting the night time economy in Belfast include a ‘traffic light’ categorisation system, linked to reported violent crime emanating from licensed premises in the City centre. This provides objective data which can be used to inform other partners and agencies about community safety issues and to assist in making more informed decisions.