Crackdown starts on counterfeit cash

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Town centre businesses have joined forces with the police in a campaign aimed at ridding the High Street of the scourge of counterfeit notes.

Shop, cafes and pubs have been targeted with fake £20 and £50 notes, and in several instances they have been accepted.

Gail Boardman, chair of Linlithgow BID which represents all the businesses in the town centre, said the practice had become increasingly prevalent, with the fraudsters often deliberately targeting premises at busy times when staff were less likely to have time to check notes.

Gail, who admitted she had recently been the victim of a fake £20 note “sting” in her gallery, said the Board had been approached by several businesses, and it was felt “enough was enough”.

She said: “We’ve been talking to the two Police Scotland community officers now based permanently in Linlithgow, and we’ve drawn up a strategy which will lead to a much better detection of forged notes, and hopefully end this menace altogether.”

Simply telling businesses to be more vigilant was not enough, she continued, given the increasing levels of sophistication employed in making notes appear genuine.

Gail added that businesses would be given detector pens and UV lamps which detected the ultra-violet ink present in genuine notes.

They would also receive large posters telling staff what to look for in notes, information leaflets and warning signs for doors and windows.

PC Neill Drummond said: “We’re delighted BID is supplying local businesses with prevention and detection packs. This will raise awareness of this crime and will assist in detecting and, more importantly, deterring instances of counterfeit banknote use in the run up to the busy Christmas period, and in the future.”