Webcams to replace shopkeepers?

A Basingstoke company has designed a webcam which could mean shopkeepers will not have to ask for ID soon

The technology is currently being used in Holland and Clarity Commerce say they have been in talks with the Dutch Government to roll out the scheme in all of Holland's shops.

Tony Holdsworth, from Clarity Commerce, told Heart how the technology works, "The webcam is hooked up to a team in a callcentre, who are trained to decide if the customer needs to produce ID.

If the customer does not look old enough, they will be asked to place their ID on a scanner which is sent straight to the callcentre team to analyse. If there are still questions over the customer's right to buy the product, an alert will be sent to the shop's manager who can make the final decision."

The company in Basingstoke cite the results of a recent poll, to show there is a need for the product. They found 1 in 5 teenagers have bought fake ID in order to buy things like alcohol, cigarettes and knives. If shops are caught selling these products to underage customers, they face a hefty fine and can even lose their licence.

Tony said the new webcams take this responsibility away from the shopkeeper, "Shopkeepers are busy, they're under pressure. If they get it wrong they face a fine. This takes it out of their hands and puts it into the hands of people who know what they are doing, leaving the retailer to get on with their other work in the shop."

Listen to the full interview with Tony

What do you think about this? Is it a good idea for shopkeepers to fork out for this technology so mistakes are not made, or should they be properly trained to spot underage youngsters themselves? let us know using the form below.