Police crackdown on under-age boozers in Mid Beds

THIS mountain of booze was seized from children as young as 13 out as late as 3am. Police community support officers Kirsty Bannon and Arno Van Heygen are pictured about to pour away alcohol seized from youngsters in Shefford and several other Mid Beds to

THIS mountain of booze was seized from children as young as 13 out as late as 3am.

Police community support officers Kirsty Bannon and Arno Van Heygen are pictured about to pour away alcohol seized from youngsters in Shefford and several other Mid Beds towns and villages over the last six months.

Now Safer Neighbourhood Teams, who confiscated the alcohol, warn they will be patrolling streets and parks throughout the summer to clampdown on under-aged drinking and anti-social behaviour.

They will send letters to the parents of any child found with alcohol, or they may be driven home to explain themselves.


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Offenders could find themselves on the police Anti-Social Behaviour Register, or being asked to sign Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs). Although they are always a last resort, police could request to more serious Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) for persistent offenders.

Safer Neighbourhood sergeant Lisa Johnson said police and partner agencies will also keep a close eye out for shops that knowingly sell alcohol to juveniles, or adults who buy drinks to pass on to children.

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She said: "Although we know most young people in this area are perfectly well behaved and would not dream of getting in trouble, there is still a significant minority out late at night, dabbling with alcohol and upsetting other residents. When we get called we often find the culprits have told parents they are sleeping at friends' homes.

"We would ask parents to be certain of where their children are at night and what they are up to, and not to permit unsupervised access to alcohol in the home. Children under the influence of alcohol not only risk getting involved in crime, but of falling victim to it. However, by working together we can all have a safe summer."

Anti-social behaviour reduction co-ordinator for Central Bedfordshire Council, Graham Caves, added: "Young people participating in alcohol, which often tends to be on a Friday evening, puts them at risk of becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.

"My message is clear: 'Say no to alcohol.' If any parent is concerned that their son or daughter is indulging in alcohol, there are many support mechanisms across Mid Bedfordshire they can access. Speak to your Safer Neighbourhood police officer or contact me at Central Bedfordshire Council on 0300 300 4224."

Anyone with information about shops selling alcohol to juveniles can contact police on 01234 841212, Crimestoppers, anonymously on 08000 555 111 or text to 07786 200011.

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