Targeting persistent under-age drinking

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A PILOT scheme to tackle under-age drinking is under way in Ashington.

Under the scheme, police are targeting youths who persistently drink in public.

The law gives officers the power to arrest someone under 18 if they are caught with alcohol in a public place more than three times in 12 months.

Acting Neighbourhood Sergeant Anthony Pattison said: “These powers are designed to be used not only as a way to enforce and punish youngsters for under-age drinking, but to help protect young people who may be abusing alcohol.

“They allow officers to stop under-age drinkers and take action.

This could be as simple as a letter to their parents or go as far as referrals to youth services and support groups. ”

The pilot scheme, which has been in operation since the start of February, has so far proved successful with 11 interventions to date.