Police have launched a crackdown on underage drinking in Ingol and Tanterton.Advertisement
Patrols will target known areas for teenagers to go boozing and Trading Standards will clamp down on shops selling alcohol to children.
Off-licence staff will be given a dedicated mobile number allowing them to report children attempting to buy alcohol.
The 12-week scheme, branded the Community Alcohol Network (CAN), aims to work with local residents to ensure underage drinking is brought under control as the lighter nights return.
PC Julie Stewart, alcohol harm reduction officer, said: “The CAN project will focus on educating young people and their parents of the dangers of underage drinking. Where necessary enforcement will be used to ensure the communities understand the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption.
“By bringing together a variety of agencies and communities, the network seeks to improve the quality of life for people living and working in Ingol and Tanterton.”
Ingol councillor Bill Shannon said it was encouraging to see a proactive approach being taken by police.
He said: “I wouldn’t call it a crackdown, I’d call it a heads-up. The Community Alcohol network is about raising awareness – and a successful campaign would be one where there were no young people found drunk, no adults charged with supplying youngsters with alcohol, and no shops closed down for under-age sales. The campaign has worked well in Larches and is now moving to Ingol.
“These days, most shops are very good in challenging youngsters to prove how old they are but we need to ensure that every new member of staff of every off-licence knows, and obeys, the law from day one. We also need shops to report it immediately if gangs of youths are hanging around outside shops asking adults to go in and buy alcohol for them – and we need the police/PCSOs to be able to respond immediately to such calls.
“The big problem, though, is young people getting alcohol at home, either without their parents knowing, or, even worse, supplied by parents who don’t see it is a problem – so the biggest part of the campaign will be aimed at raising awareness amongst parents of the issues and dangers.”
Anyone with information or concerns about underage drinking or anti social behaviour can contact the police on 0845 1 25 35 45 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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