Police welcome plan to issue plastic cash

Swindon Advertiser: A Bank of England employee shows off an example of a new polymer banknote A Bank of England employee shows off an example of a new polymer banknote

POLICE and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson has welcomed plans to introduce plastic banknotes as a significant step towards clamping down on counterfeit money.

The Bank of England yesterday announced its decision to replace paper notes with new ones made of polymer in 2016.

According to bosses, the notes, which will include a see-through window and other security features, will be much harder to forge.

Angus Macpherson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said the scheme was a move in the right direction.

“I welcome any innovations that can help in the fight against crime,” he said. “If the new polymer notes make it harder for criminals to produce counterfeits, that must be a good thing.”

“There’s a lot of counterfeit money around. If this reduces the ability to print money, then it’s good.”

“I had a fiver earlier, it was a very scruffy, dirty, nasty one.”

The Bank revealed in September it was considering a switch from cotton paper to polymer notes, following a three-year research programme into various materials.

It found polymer notes would stay cleaner and would be much more secure than cotton paper notes.

A consultation was then conducted to gauge public opinion.

Nearly 13,000 people gave feedback. The Bank said 87 per cent of those who responded were in favour of polymer, six per cent were opposed and seven per cent were neutral.

The £5 note, which features Sir Winston Churchill, will be the first plastic note to be brought into circulation in 2016 under the proposals. The £10 note will go plastic a year later, carrying the image of Jane Austen.

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, explained the reasons behind the Bank’s decision yesterday.

“Ensuring trust and confidence in money is at the heart of what central banks do,” he said. “Polymer notes are the next step in the evolution of banknote design to meet that objective.

“The quality of polymer notes is higher, they are more secure from counterfeiting, and they can be produced at lower cost to the taxpayer and the environment.”

Polymer banknotes are manufactured from a transparent plastic film, coated with an ink layer that enables it to carry the printed design features of banknotes.

The notes will last for 2.5 times longer than paper banknotes and survive in the washing machine.

They will initially cost more to make but their extra durability means they will be cheaper to issue than paper notes, the Bank said.

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