DORSET Police are asking members of the public, shopkeepers and those in the hospitality trade to be vigilant as there have been three reported incidents of counterfeit notes being used in the Lyme Regis area in the last week.
Goods have been purchased or attempts have been made to purchase them using either fake English £20 notes or fake Irish £50 notes.
Two incidents have taken place in Lyme Regis and Charmouth and another occurred in Bridport.
The first incident occurred on Wednesday, August 15 at an hotel in the Charmouth area. Two white Irish men went into the hotel and asked if there were any cheap rooms available. When they were told there was only one room available they declined this but stayed and each ordered a drink at the hotel bar, paying with an Irish £50 note.
Soon afterwards the member of staff that served them realised that the money was counterfeit but the men had already left. Both men were described as being in their early 20s, one being about 5’8” having short dark hair and had freckles and wearing sunglasses, shorts and a grey T-shirt, and the other as having short ginger hair, taller than the other man and wearing a white T-shirt and shorts.
In a second incident on Saturday, August 18 a white Irish man entered a shop in Lyme Regis and attempted to purchase some items using a fake £20 note. The member of staff spotted that it was fake and confiscated it and the man then left the store and got into a blue estate car with another man.
The car had an Irish number plate and the man who had been in the shop was described as having short dark hair, was unshaven, had a scar on his nose and appeared to walk with a limp.
In the third incident On Wednesday, August 22, a man used a counterfeit £20 note to purchase food in a Bridport shop. The man was described as being white, aged between 35 and 45 and of slim build with blonde hair. He was wearing blue jeans and a hoodie, a baseball cap, a wooden crucifix around his neck and was described as being “quite loud”.
Dorset Police advice is to check all notes as they are passed in payment. Criminals trying to use fake notes will target businesses where they know that bank notes are not being checked and will often purchase small value items and pay for them using fake £20 or £50 notes.
If you discover that you have been passed a counterfeit banknote it is your duty and responsibility to hand this in to the nearest bank so that they can dispose of the note safely.
If you have any information about the circulation of fake notes, contact police on 101 or use the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.