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Warning over fake £20 notes in village

By Joe Sweeney | Wednesfield | Crime | Published:

Shop owners and market traders are being warned to beware of fake £20 notes, after several incidents of people trying to buy goods with them over the last week.

Wednesfield High Street, showing the number of empty market stalls. Photo: Local Democracy Reporting Service

Wednesfield South councillor Jacqui Coogan is advising anyone who has a business in the village to report any incidents of this happening to the local police community team.

Shop owner Max McEvoy, who runs Juicy Fruits fruit and vegetable store in the High Street, said he had a customer trying to use one, and there has also been reports of people trying to pass them in Card Factory.

Mr McEvoy is now advising all his fellow traders to invest in ‘PolyCheck’ strip lights or detector pens which will spot a counterfeit note.

“There have been a couple of people in the village using fake £20 notes lately. I hope everyone avoided accepting them. All my staff are checking them now using the detector pens. And sure enough, we avoided taking one,” he said.

“The £20 notes are the most commonly faked notes remaining. Obviously, the new notes come in this year. But I’m sure even the new notes can be faked. And then there are Scottish notes as well, so it’s a bit of a minefield.

“I would advise all shop owners to start checking. Packs of the checking pens can be bought on eBay or wherever. They are cheap and could potentially save businesses a lot of money.

“However, it seems that the pens will not work on the new notes, which are made of polymer. So I’ve just ordered one of strip light detection machines with a bunch of spare bulbs. It was only about £10 on eBay. You just plug it in under the counter,” he added.

Councillor Coogan said: “I would urge all traders to contact the local police community team if this happens.

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“Whilst we know that the force has a problem with sheer numbers, if they don’t know where the issues are, they can’t plan for increased patrols.

“In addition, we have to report all crime to ensure that police commissioners have the necessary statistics to justify the demand for more police recruits.”

Experts say one of the easiest ways to check if a note is genuine, is to run a finger across the paper note and if it is genuine, the print will feel raised on areas such as the words ‘Bank of England’ on the front. If it is counterfeit, the note won’t have a textured feel to it and will feel flat all over.

Joe Sweeney

By Joe Sweeney
@JoeSweeneyLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Wolverhampton.

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