AN OFF-LICENCE in Bridlington has become the first in the town to install a state of the art scanner to stamp out underage alcohol and cigarette sales.
Last Friday, Bossy Boots off licence, in Queensgate, installed a scanner that reads a customer's thumb print, before checking it against identification that the customer has previously shown staff.
This means customers only need to bring proof of identification to the store once, and can use the scanner every other time they are buying age restricted products.
The shop's owner, Rod Parker, believes the new technology can help stop underage sales, and prevent him and his staff from receiving abuse from people without identification.
Mr Parker said: "Under-age alcohol and tobacco sales are a serious problem, especially for us as we are so close to the college.
"We get a lot of young people coming into the shop and trying to buy cans of lager or cigarettes. -
"We cannot afford to lose our licence by mistakenly serving someone who is under-age, so the scanner is an excellent solution.
"The reaction so far has been positive on the whole, the genuine customers are understanding as always, but we have the policy that we cannot serve anyone without their identification, and genuine customers will benefit because we won't have to ask them to continually bring their proof with them when coming to the shop.
"We do quite regularly recieve abuse from people who we refuse to serve, and hopefully when they see the machine and know the policy, that will stop.
"We will only accept passports and driving licenses as proof of identification."
Around 50 people have so far registered with the scanner since last week, and that number is expected to rise.
Mr Parker said: "What I like about the system is that you put the information on the system yourself, and you only use it for this purpose, it is not controlled centrally.
"Eventually I can see most off-licences having something like this, and I feel sorry for the shops who get into trouble for making genuine mistakes."