Police crack down on under-age drinking

UNDER-age drinkers as young as 13 were driven off the streets of Bedlington on Friday night as police launched a crackdown to tackle the problem.

The operation, by the town’s neighbourhood policing team, saw 31 youths stopped and spoken to.

Some of the youths were then taken back to their homes and given a further warning about their behaviour in front of their parents.

Others were driven to a social services office in Cramlington to be collected by their parents.

The campaign was launched by new community sergeant Dave Morrison.

He said: “All my available policing team were deployed on Friday.

“Despite the poor weather, seven reports concerning young people were made by members of the public.

“A large quantity of alcohol was removed from under-age youngsters, some of whom were as young as 13 years old”.

Operation Street Safe will see police and social workers joining forces to remove intoxicated or vulnerable young people from the streets to prevent them committing crime or coming to harm.

But the problem with under age drinking continues in Bedlington particularly on Friday nights, despite the work of teachers and PC’s to address the issue at school and the operation will continue in the Bedlington area throughout the year.

Sergeant Morrison added: “Under age drinking will not be tolerated, swift action will be taken on youngster’s drinking on our streets.”

Letters, phone calls and immediate home visits will be made to parents where appropriate to prevent youngsters causing problems or putting themselves in danger and referrals to social services will be completed if youngsters who roam the street are at risk.

PC Stephen McIntosh of the Bedlington Neighbourhood Police team said: “Anyone committing an offence will be robustly dealt with by officers on patrol to allow everyone in the community to feel safer”.

Anyone with information of under age alcohol sales is urged to call their Neighbourhood Team on 03456 043 043 ext 63726 or email Neighbourhood Office at bedlington.npt@northumbria.pnn.police.uk.