Police vow to get tough on underage drinkers

Police in South Tyneside are visiting off-licences during their patrols to stop under-18s from buying and getting access to alcohol.

So far this month, officers have made 36 such checks, stopping outside shops that are known to have experienced problems with young people at times when disorder traditionally increases.

Neighbourhood inspector Peter Sutton said: “The vast majority of our off-licences are well managed and well run and they welcome the extra police attention we are giving them. But, a small minority do allow youngsters access to alcohol, in some cases selling it to underage drinkers or to others who will then sell it on to children.

“We are determined to do all we can to prevent this from happening and making sure that retailers are fully aware of their responsibilities is one part of that. We also want them to know that we are making regular checks across South Tyneside so we can offer them help and advice in dealing with underage children who try to buy alcohol.”

The police have promised tough action against under-18s that are found drunk. They will be taken home to parents and have their details recorded with the threat of being given an Anti Social Behaviour Order if they continue to cause problems.

Adults buying alcohol for young people will also targeted and told they face fines and arrest if they are caught.

During checks, 99 young people were stopped and spoken to, 23 letters were sent to parents advising them of their child’s behaviour and 49 bottles of alcohol were confiscated and poured away.

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