Pity London's poor crafty underagers. A further hurdle was today placed in the way of their illegally buying booze and fags as supermarket chain Budgens unveiled a trial of hi-tech face-recognition cameras in one of its London stores – technology that will weed out teenage drinkers and smokers before they reach the tills.
First the smoking ban. Then Boris's quaint 'don't drink on the tube' posters. Indulging in our favourite national pastimes is getting more and more difficult for all of us.
The technology, usually used by police to monitor CCTV, scans customers’ faces as they pick their noses/fumble for change in the queue. If they turn out to be a 15 year-old ne'er do well trying to buy cider and unable to prove they're of age, their mugshot will be saved to a database, and flagged up if they try the same stunt again.
A spokesperson for Scrumpy Jack was unavailable for comment, but sales are expected to plummet. Hoodies: you have been warned.
By Matt Crossick