Colleges across Wales are offering students free PASS cards – a proof of age scheme to encourage responsible alcohol consumption among young people.
Retailers and licensees are generally aware that it is against the law to sell alcohol to someone who is under 18 but it is sometimes difficult for them to know when someone is under 18. Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) together with the NPTC Group of Colleges and the local police, are working together to distribute the passes to young people, and to visit retailers to endorse the use of the PASS card and to ensure they support the project and recognise the passes as an acceptable form of ID.
The first event took place at Newtown College this week, when there were many passes issued to students. These events will hopefully be extended to the rest of NPTC Group of Colleges.
The PASS scheme is the UK’s national Proof of Age standards scheme, and they are distributed free by CitizenCard, a not-for-profit organisation that works closely with schools, the police, charities and trading standards across the UK.
There are now three Community Alcohol Partnerships in South Wales – in Neath Port Talbot (Pontardawe), Powys (Brecon and Newtown) and Rhondda Cynon Taff (Porth) which bring together local partners including retailers, local authorities, police, schools and neighbourhood groups to tackle underage drinking and improve the quality of life for residents.
Steve Cass, Newtown College Manager said: “Carrying a PASS card means young people can gain access to the goods and services to which they are legally entitled – and it provides peace of mind for retailers that they are not selling illegally to under-age customers.”
Kate Nicholls, Acting Chair of PASS, said: “The free PASS card scheme will provide convenience and confidence to students and will help avoid the nuisance of misplaced passports. The scheme will also ensure the roll-out of ID that is secure, accurate and fulfils the Home Office’s requirements for due diligence. They can be accepted in any bar, nightclub or pub and represent another way in which the sector is proactively working to maintain security and help customers and authorities.”