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3 May 2011, 09:35
Shopkeepers are being warned to look out for counterfeit money in Portsmouth.
Police have seized dozens of counterfeit notes in the city over the past four months.
Around 30 retailers have now received training on how to spot the difference between fake and genuine cash.
The training was organised by the Portsmouth Business Crime Reduction Partnership (PBCRP), the police and the Bank of England.
Sergeant Rob Sutton from Portsmouth's City Centre Unit said: “Retailers are the first line of defence in detecting and retaining counterfeit notes and it’s with their help that the Bank of England can find out where this money is coming from.
“The amount of counterfeit money in circulation is the UK is relatively small, and we want to keep it that way.
“This week’s training for shop workers and police officers looked at the Bank’s procedures for dealing with counterfeit money and how to spot the difference between fake and genuine notes.
“They then got the chance to try it out for themselves.”
Since the start of the year, police have seized 69 fake £20 notes in Portsmouth including 16 Scottish notes.
DC Dave Anderson from Portsmouth CID said: “Every report is dealt with on a case-by-case basis and we will investigate each further, particularly if there are links to other areas of criminality.
“The notes are returned to the Bank of England which records the number of bank notes taken out of circulation.
“It’s a crime to be in possession of a known counterfeit note or coin if you intend to pass it off as genuine.
“However, counterfeits can be readily identified by checking a number of security features present in genuine bank notes but which are either missed or badly imitate in fakes.
“I’d urge retailers to always keep an eye out when handling money and to report any counterfeits or people suspected of handling counterfeit notes to us.”
If you come into possession of counterfeit currency, contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101 and note details of the description of the person involved and any vehicle they may be using.
Anyone with information about people passing counterfeit currency should contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101 or the anonymous Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.