ID scanners go live to tackle crime and disorder in nightclubs in 'England's biggest rollout'

  • ITV News Anglia reporter Ravneet Nandra joined a student night to see how the machines work.

State-of-the-art security technology has been rolled out to late-night venues across four towns to tackle violence and disorder in what is thought to the biggest initiative of its kind in England.

Bars and clubs in Northampton, Wellingborough, Kettering and Daventry that open after 1am have been fitted with the new ID scanning equipment to help them manage who comes into their venue.

The £119,000 project from the Northamptonshire Police Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) is part of a wider programme of work to tackle violence against women and girls that has seen £1.2m spent on initiatives.

These include improvements such as better lighting and CCTV, training for staff in pubs and clubs to recognise vulnerability and challenge harassment, and the Licensing Savi scheme to help premises improve safety for customers at their venues.

It is thought to be the largest roll out of ID scan technology in the night-time economy in England. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Organisers said it was the first time that a network of premises had been equipped to the same standard and enabled to work together across Northamptonshire, and it is thought to be the largest roll out of ID scan technology in the night-time economy in England.

PFCC Stephen Mold said: "If there's some errant behaviour, and the landlady or landlord wants to say you can't come in, they kind of put a marker on them.

"If someone is really bad, they can be banned from all late-night establishments.

"Why is that important? Hopefully, it's not needed. It acts as a deterrent and makes people think 'I'm going to modify my behaviour and think about it'."

How does it work?

The system scans someone’s identification and checks if it is genuine.

It also captures the person’s image, meaning that anyone intent on causing trouble could later be identified if an incident occurs.

The venues are now able to share information about people who have caused trouble in their premises, meaning that anyone banned from one venue could find themselves banned from them all. 

The system scans someone’s identification and checks if it is genuine. Credit: ITV Anglia

David Drew, general manager at club Elysium in Northampton, said: "It does mean we've got the safety that if anything does go wrong, God forbid, we can go back and we know every detail of every person that has come in.

Offering an example, he said: "We can go back to the university and say this person has come in and done this, and that person can be dealt with.

"An added bonus to the scanner means we know who's in the building, how many people are in the building and that goes to everyone's safety and really assists us."

Thirty late-night venues across Northamptonshire have introduced state-of-the-art security technology. Credit: ITV Anglia

But there have been mixed reviews from students in Northampton who now regularly see the scanners on their student nights.

One said: "Literally you can see face-to-face so somebody can't take your ID and get into the club with it."

Another said: "I think it's good to protect people who may feel threatened and/or marginalised, especially the disabled community etc. I think it's a good thing because it obviously protects people and keeps the good people in and the bad people out."

Others had mixed feelings, with one saying: "[It] verifies people but people who don't have ID can't get into clubs so it's not the best."

Some of the venues taking part in the scheme already had identification scanning equipment, but now all 30 are operating with the same technology which means sharing information has been made easier.

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