POLICE are concerned that fake £20 notes which were circulating in Darlington have spread across the region.

Officers initially thought the fake notes were just being circulated in the Darlington area, but it is now being seen as a force-wide issue and residents across the North-East are being warned to be on their guard.

Neighbourhood Inspector Mick Button said: “We need people to be alert about these notes, so please be vigilant about checking your change and notify us if you have any suspicions about £20 notes.

“We’ve also been reminding shopkeepers to keep up their systems for checking notes.”

Anybody who suspects they have been given a fake £20 note should not hand it back to the person they received it from but should instead contact police on 101.

Officers have also issued the following checklist to help identify genuine notes:

  • In addition to the Queen’s portrait (watermark) there should be a £20 symbol, which should appear brighter than the Queen’s head.
  • Look for raised printing, in particular the words ‘Bank of England’ across the top of the note and to the right of the Queen’s portrait where there should be a series of 20s.
  • The foil should be holographic – changing colour and a change from the Figure 20 to a £ symbol. There is a series of dotted silver rectangles on the rear of the note, when it is held up to the light they form a solid line.
  • Under ultraviolet light a red and yellow 20 should be visible.
  • The texture of a counterfeit note will often feel different from a genuine one.

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