Police and publicans join forces to tackle Northampton’s phone thieves

editorial image

A finger print recognition system is being supported by police as part of its bid to work with pubs and clubs in Northampton in tackling mobile phone thefts.

The new ID technology, which fingerprints people and checks their identification documents on the way in as a condition of entry. is already proving successful at The Roadmender in reducing the number of phone thefts.

The system is called ‘SCANNET’, and links to pubs and clubs across the country.

PC Dale Hillyer said: “Phone thefts have already been reduced by around 30 per cent,

“The Roadmender was the first to adopt the fingerprint ID systems and achieved an almost instant reduction in phone thefts inside the venue.

“I’m delighted that this system has now been adopted by NB’s, a very busy venue.”.

Police say it has already proved effective at NB’s, which is in Bridge Street, identifying a man who was wanted in London for an offence, and preventing his admission.

Karim Ayoubi, chairman of the town’s Pubwatch, said: “The ID Scan system is the latest innovation in deterring crime in clubs, and it has been proven to be successful – after being widely introduced in Liverpool, the police commented that violent offences literally ‘fell of a cliff’.

“People intent on causing trouble just don’t want to come in as they don’t want to give up their ID.

“For NB’s the primary driving factor was a high number of phone thefts in recent months.

It appeared that the venue was being targeted by gangs of phone thieves. This has now stopped dead.

“Instead of getting 60 calls about lost or stolen phones on a Monday morning, they are now getting just one.

“I am sure that we will see the number of all types of crimes attributed to NB’s tumble, and hopefully this will further feed through to falling figures for the town as a whole.”

Northampton Pubwatch members are keen to send out the message that, in the context of crime figures in at pubs and clubs, which are down 30 per cent since last July, Northampton is “open for fun; trouble-makers aren’t welcome.”

Mr Ayoubi said: “ID Scan stops trouble makers in their tracks and the management should be congratulated for their proactive attitude - they have made their venue a safer place to be.”

Entry to NB’s is now conditional on providing a form of identification, which the system scans and stores.

It automatically checks date of birth, that the ID is genuine, and whether that person has been barred from any other venue that has ID Scan in the country.

This will also be tied in with the Northampton Pubwatch scheme, so that any individual who is on a Pubwatch ban will be flagged up, and will be denied entry.

The manager of NB’s, Matt Kitchker, said: “We’re working closely with the police to reduce crime, and this new fingerprint identification system has been proven to reduce offences by up to 40 per cent in the venues where it’s been introduced.

“We have also upgraded our CCTV system, and this will give more opportunity to detect crime”.