Sparkling perry pulled off shelves

08 August, 2008

Bottles of sparkling perry have been removed from the shelves of off-licences in a Newcastle-upon-Tyne suburb following an agreement between shopkeepers and police in a bid to cut down antisocial behaviour.

All 15 off-licences in Benwell are taking part in the scheme, which is aiming to stop children on school holidays having access to the drink. The area suffers from a higher than average rate of antisocial behaviour which has recently included arson.

The officer behind the scheme is PC Joe Birkett of Northumbria Police, who admits to being pleased with the response of the shopkeepers to take part and believes it will reduce crime in the area.

He said: "I'm delighted off-licences in Benwell have agreed to work with the police to tackle under-age drinking as this issue has an impact within the community. The drinks they have agreed not to sell are the ones we most often seize from youngsters, so it is hoped that by taking them away during the summer holidays we'll reduce anti social behaviour and under-age drinking in the area.

"Every off-licence in Benwell has agreed to take part and

has been positive throughout . I think this demonstrates

they are being responsible and are willing to lose money in order to help improve the situation. "

He added: "By

working together,

we can reduce alcohol -related youth disorder in the area.

Anyone caught selling alcohol to under-18s, or

buying it on their behalf, will have

action taken against them."

Backed with posters showing the shops

taking part, the scheme is planned to run beyond the school summer holidays and is scheduled to end on

Sept 30.

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