Forgery and Counterfeiting

The Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981

The Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 creates the following offences:

  • Forgery. This means creating a false instrument
  • Copying a false instrument
  • Using a false instrument
  • Using a copy of a false instrument

What is meant by a false instrument?

A false instrument is a document which the individual in control of it knows it to be false the intention of inducing another person into thinking that it is in fact a genuine instrument.

Further offences under the Act

The Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 makes specific mention of certain kinds of documents which the following above offences and the following offence are specifically designed for:

To have custody or control over such instruments and manufacture, custody and control over equipment or materials to make them.

Section 5(5) of the Act then lists the documents for which this offence is made available for, as follows:

  • Money orders
  • Postal Orders
  • United Kingdom Postage Stamps
  • Inland Revenue Stamps
  • Share certificates
  • Passports and documents which can be used instead of passports
  • Cheques
  • Travellers Cheques
  • Cheque cards
  • Credit cards
  • Birth certificates, marriage certificates

Identity Cards Act 2006

The Identity Cards Act 2006 came into force on the 7 July 2006 and repeals Sections 5(5)(a) and 5(5)(f) of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981  and replaced it with legislation concerning identity documents.

Section 25 Identity Cards Act 2006

Section 25 of the Identity Cards Act 2006 lists the following offences in relation to identity documents:

    It is an offence to be in possession of false identity documents which he or knows or believes to be false It is an offence to be in possession of a genuine identity document which has been improperly obtained or relates to another person.

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For more information on:

  • Prison sentencing guidelines  
  • What is meant by Identity Documents?
  • Statutory Defence against Section 25