More than 220 forms of fake ID have been seized by four Brighton bars and nightclubs in just three months following the installation of ID scanners.
Door staff have noticed a surge in the number of underage teens trying to smuggle their way into venues after the scanners were introduced as they can no longer use their fake ID.
ID scanners allow for the quick checking of identification documents and also take a photograph of the person trying to get into the venue.
Jean Irving, Sussex Police’s licensing and public safety manager, said: “There are currently 10 venues in Brighton and Hove with scanners.
“They are helping us keep children safer by preventing them getting into clubs and bars where they could buy drink and put themselves in danger.
“The scanners are already proving to be useful crime-fighting tools and evidence they have recorded is being used in a number of ongoing investigations including thefts and sexual assaults.
“Women in clubs have said they feel safer in venues with them because they know that the images of all the people inside have been taken.
“They also act as a deterrent to thieves who don’t want their photos taken and kept on record when they are about to commit crime.
“The premises that have installed scanners have noticed a drop in reports of bags and mobile phones being stolen and can make sure they don’t get caught selling drink to children.”
A range of dedicated areas to keep clubbers and pub goers safe are also being launched in Brighton this week in time for Freshers’ Week at the city’s universities.
Safe Havens are locations in or near clubs and bars where anyone on a night out can use if they become separated from their friends or feel unwell or unsafe.
Shooshh and Wah Kiki, on the seafront, have set up rooms to help provide a safe and friendly place for those who need help or assistance.
The areas are monitored, safe, dry and warm with access to a hot drink or cold soft drink and where they can make free phone calls to friends, family or a taxi.
They also include CCTV and door staff are able to support the people should they need it.
They build upon the successful Safe Space at St Paul’s Church in West Street, which offers the same service and is staffed by Red Cross volunteers and YMCA project workers.
Sergeant Simon Morgan, from the Brighton and Hove licensing team, said: “The city has a popular and thriving night time economy and with the influx of thousands of new students we need to make sure it is a safe environment for people to enjoy.
“This is the responsibility of the whole city and we are working with our partners to ensure Brighton and Hove is a safe and enjoyable place to go out in.”
The issues are part of a series of alcohol-related problems that are being highlighted during a national campaign this week.
Across the country forces are carrying out extra operations and launching new initiatives as part of ACPO’s week of action to raise awareness of the impact of drink on public safety and policing.
Follow #alcoholharm on Twitter through the week to keep up to date on the force’s activities during the campaign.