Police urge residents to ‘know their notes’

North Yorkshire Police is calling upon residents to ‘know their notes’ following recent reports of counterfeit £50 notes being in circulation.

Bank notes issued by the Bank of England, carry a number of distinctive markings, which assist in the identification of a genuine note.

By being able to recognise some of these markings, you can know if you are in receipt of a counterfeit note.

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All genuine bank notes will be of high print quality, with lines and colours being sharp, clear and free from smudges or blurred edges.

All notes, whether polymer or paper, will have ‘Bank of England’ printed in raised print, microlettering of the denomination below the Queen’s portrait and will react to ultraviolet light.

The new £5 and £10 polymer notes introduced over the past two years, carry a number of security features. Both notes have a see-through window with a clearly defined portrait of the Queen and foil patches which show the written denomination of the note. A 3-D image of the coronation crown is also featured.

The £5 note, which features Sir Winston Churchill, has a finely detailed metallic image of Big Ben, which is gold on the front of the note and silver on the back. It also has a foil patch which carries an image of the Marlborough maze from Blenheim Palace – Sir Winston’s birthplace.

The £10 note features Jane Austen and carries a metallic image of Winchester Cathedral, where she is buried. As with the £5, the image is gold on the front of the note and silver on the reverse. The £10 note also carries an image of a quill, which changes from purple to orange when the note is tilted and a copper book-shaped foil patch, which contains the letters “JA”.

The £20 and £50 note are currently still printed on special paper. Both carry a watermark portrait of the Queen, which is visible when held up to the light and a metallic thread, which weaves through the paper.

The £20 note also features a number of foil patches which contain holographic images of the economist Adam Smith, the number 20 and the £ symbol.

The £50 note has a motion thread which runs through the note, featuring images of the £ symbol and the number 50. These images move up and down and side to side, when tilted.

The Bank of England offer a number of resources on their website, which help individuals and retailers identify counterfeit back notes. An app is also available, which provides details of the security features of each note, together with a range of useful advice and information. Details can be found at https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/counterfeit-banknotes/how-to-check-your-banknotes

Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, head of North Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit “Fortunately counterfeit notes are quite rare, but sadly for those in receipt of them, they are worthless. Banks cannot reimburse individuals or businesses who fall victim to this type of fraud.

“Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime. Operations can directly fund organised crime and damages the UK economy by creating losses for individuals and businesses, which ultimately effects the costs of goods that you and I buy. We all end up paying for the cost of this type of crime.

“If you suspect that you have received a counterfeit note, please contact police on 101 or take it along to your local police station. We can take all the relevant details from you and pass the information over to the National Crime Agency, who will work with the Bank of England to examine the note.

“If you have any information about someone making, selling or using counterfeit notes, again please contact the police on 101 and report your suspicions. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”