A mobile crime wave swept through Linlithgow over Christmas dishing out fake £50 notes and leaving shopkeepers out of pocket, local councillors heard this week.
Constable Andrew Murray told this month’s meeting of the Linlithgow Local Area Committee: “They came in from central Scotland and often it was not until the following day that that the shopkeepers had alerted the police, by which time those passing the notes would have moved on. “
He added: “This has been raised with the BID [Business Improvement District) encouraging the shopkeepers to report it at the time if they suspect fake notes are being passed so that we have a sporting chance of catching those responsible while they are still in the town.”
Police also advised shops to adopt the option of refusing to accept £50 notes if they were at all suspicious.
Eddie Linton-Smith, manager of Linlithgow Town Centre BID, said businesses had been using the fake note scanner kits since Christmas 2016 and added: “In December, some very convincing fake £50 notes started appearing in the town centre and we were better prepared than before. Within 10 minutes of hearing of the first attempt to pass a fake £50, Linlithgow Town Centre BID had alerted its mailing list with descriptions of the notes, and reminded businesses that our kits were (and are) still available to member businesses. We’ll even replace the bulbs when they eventually wear out.
“Again, the message was clearly received by those attempting to pass the notes: Linlithgow is not a soft touch for counterfeit currency,” said Mr Linton-Smith.
Police were asked this week if fake notes were still an issue in the area this week but we were told there had been no reports of conterfeit currency within the last two months.