Police support leads to growing acceptance of PASS cards

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pass Pass card Police Constable

The new standardised card launched in June 2014
The new standardised card launched in June 2014
Police officers’ support for the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) has led to a “breakthrough” in the acceptance of cards in pubs and bars, according to the scheme’s director.

National director Marc Catchpole said there has been a “marked improvement” in the recognition and acceptance of PASS hologrammed cards in licensed premises since a standardised card for over-18s was launched in June last year and this has been strengthened by support from police officers.

Adrian Lee, Northamptonshire chief constable and national policing lead for alcohol licensing and harm reduction, pledged to influence and increase the acceptance of the cards at the redesign launch and Catchpole said that promise has been “strongly honoured”.


Lee said: “Since the launch, every report of a refusal, either to PASS or to the card issuers has been followed up by local police with a visit to the premises concerned. 

“A total of 54 refusals – well down on previous years - have been notified to local police for a visit, with staff at the venues concerned being reassured about the police’s support for PASS and encouraged to accept PASS where possible. 

“Most of these refusals have mainly been involving the old designs, although a handful of new designs have been referred recently.  The refusals have originated from 42 different towns and cities within 24 separate Police Force areas.” 

In each case, the licensee has also been introduced to Catchpole who has provided support and material.

Challenging perceptions 

Catchpole said: “Whilst we thought this approach would challenge those venues that have refused to accept a PASS card, the benefits have been far wider with many police licensing officers choosing to present PASS to wider groups of people involved in the night time economy in their towns and cities at Pub Watch meetings for example. 

“I have supported many of these meetings in person - presenting on PASS, providing sample cards and other promotional material. The feedback from these meetings has been very positive and we have certainly challenged and changed many previously held views on PASS.”

Robert Humphreys, chair of PASS, added: “Whilst it is not possible to quantify the impact of this strong support from the police, I am confident that police licensing officers across the country are now fully aware and support PASS positively in their areas and that any future refusals will be followed up appropriately until we reach the point when PASS is accepted without question.

“I would like to put on record my thanks to Chief Constable Adrian Lee and his colleagues, notably Chief Inspector Dave Spencer, for their fantastic support to PASS. This is making a real difference to young people, who can now rely on PASS as the preferred Proof of Age.”

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