Underage drinkers given holiday warning

UNDERAGE drinkers have been warned they could face hefty fines or be arrested under tough new policing measures to combat anti-social behaviour.

UNDERAGE drinkers have been warned they could face hefty fines or be arrested under tough new policing measures to combat anti-social behaviour.

Suffolk police chiefs have pledged to tackle young drinkers throughout the county - predicting an increase in problems during the half-term holiday.

Local hot spots will be identified by police and community support offices - “proactively targeting” youth drinking - who will have the power to confiscate alcohol and disperse groups of youngsters.

Acting Supt Stuart Hudson said: “With the warmer weather for this school holiday, we expect more young people gathering during the evenings.

“This is the perfect opportunity to show them how alcohol can affect them and how that can in turn affect the whole community.

“Anyone drinking underage will have their alcohol confiscated and we will use the information we gather during this week to inform future work.”

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Police will also use the campaign to gather information on how young people obtain alcohol and have pledged to crackdown on any adult found to have knowingly supplied drinks.

They run the risk of an on-the-spot fine or even prosecution while any licensee selling alcohol to underage people could put their license at risk.

The latest confiscation of alcohol campaign will also highlight areas which are already under “alcohol designation orders”, preventing drinking in public places, and anyone breaking the order could be arrested or fined.

The scheme comes after a successful countywide crackdown on crime and disorder caused by underage street drinking in February.

Acting Supt Hudson said: “The campaign earlier this year proved very successful. Across west Suffolk, more than 160 bottles or cans of alcohol were seized and by doing this, officers were able to tackle the anti-social behaviour and crime and disorder associated with youth drinking.

“We also offered information and advice to those young people, to educate them that their behaviour is not only anti-social, but also puts them at risk of other offences such as assault and can also put at risk their health.”

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