Nightclub boss confronts young drinkers

RICHARD BATSON Under age drinkers are finding themselves facing the law and licensees in a new crime-busting scheme to highlight the consequences of their actions.Teenagers trying to get into a Cromer night club using false identification have met its boss face to face, as well as getting a ticking off from the police.

RICHARD BATSON

Under age drinkers are finding themselves facing the law and licensees in a new crime-busting scheme to highlight the consequences of their actions.

Teenagers trying to get into a Cromer night club using false identification have met its boss face to face, as well as getting a ticking off from the police.

Anastasia's owner Gordon Dodd said: “I told them what would happen if under age drinkers were found in the club.


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“It could be shut down, meaning that eight staff from the doormen to the DJs would lose their incomes, and my grandchildren would not have the Christmas they expected.”

The youngsters involved had not thought it through, and Mr Dodd said he welcomed the new “restorative justice” approach.

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“It is a brilliant idea, and much better than taking them to court at huge public expense,” he added.

In the meeting between offender, victim and police, the youngsters also got to explain their actions - which saw a lad trying to borrow another's driving licence to get entry and drink, but were rumbled by club staff.

“They were out on the town, and had already been drinking in somewhere where they had not been challenged, but the under age one tried to get in our club using the other's ID.

“Our staff challenged them, realising the photo did not tally, and because they know a lot of the locals,” he added.

Mr Dodd, a licensee with 29 years experience, said under age drinking could be a problem, but pubs and clubs needed to check ID, and youngsters needed to understand the rules for staying safe and out of trouble, while still having a good time.

Sgt Tony Toynton said that new legislation makes it an offence of fraud to use fake ID to get into licence premises. Those allowing others to borrow their ID could also be charged with aiding and abetting a fraud.

If an underage drinker is found in licensed premises then the landlord could be held responsible and any offence could affect their licence renewal.

He said: “The restorative justice scheme is new. It gets the complainant and the offender together to talk about the issue and means the offender can see the affect of their actions.

“The scheme is very much in its early days but it has been used once in Cromer and I hope to use it again in Sheringham soon.”

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