A c-store retailer is campaigning for the closure of a loophole in the law which makes buying authentic-looking but fake ID cards child's play.

Charanjit Sandhu, who owns The Middles Store in Stanley, Durham, said there had been a dramatic escalation in the number of fake IDs being used by underaged youths since the increase in the smoking age limit last October.
Charanjit said fake documents were easy to purchase because of a legal loophole which makes it lawful to market them, providing they are sold as 'novelty' items.
"As a result, fake ID cards are now widely available at nominal prices all over the internet," he said.
Charanjit fears that he and other retailers will face stiff penalties as a result of being conned by the fraudulent ID documents.
"I have had to question the validity of ID on a number of occasions recently, although this is becoming harder as fakes look more and more like the genuine article," Charanjit said. He added that he knew of retailers who had lost their alcohol licences for selling to underaged youths who had used genuine-looking fake ID to trick shopworkers.
"It can be easy to make a mistake when you are busy in the store as the fakes are so hard to spot. As usual, it's the retailers who get punished while the real perpetrators go free," he said. "This situation needs to be stopped."
Charanjit is calling for the loophole to be closed, and for the manufacture and sale of fake IDs to be made a criminal offence.
He has written to North Durham MP Kevin Jones asking him to take the matter up in Parliament. The MP has since written to the Home Office regarding the issue.

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