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Cumbria police shock at scale of underage drinking

Underage drinkers were targeted by police in a day of action – including 50 in a park in Whitehaven with booze stashed in bushes.

Seized booze photo
A quantity of alcohol as seized by police

Police said they were shocked at the amount of alcohol seized, and found children aged 14 and 15 with large amounts.

Officers targeted Workington, Whitehaven and Cockermouth on Friday, with special operations during the evening.

They identified children at risk and took them to a designated place of safety where there were representatives from children’s services, NACRO, Inspira and Action For Children.

Officers then contacted their parents and they were told about the potential dangers of drinking and given support and guidance.

Sergeant Richard Farnworth, of Cumbria police who led the Workington and Whitehaven operations, said they wanted to tackle antisocial behaviour and warn children of the risks.

“Parents appeared appreciative of the support we gave their children and I look forward to continuing this joint work across west Cumbria, at times and in places where we know young people can place themselves at risk,” he said.

“I also want to send the clear message to parents that not knowing where your child is at night, allowing them to consume alcohol or allowing them to stay out late on their own, is unacceptable. I want to reassure communities that we are working to keep children safe. Parents need to take responsibility for their children and ensuring that they have an alcohol free childhood.”

He said they found one area of “particular concern” at Skate Park in Whitehaven where 50 children were found and alcohol discovered hidden in bushes.

Five children were found on the shore at Whitehaven with an 18-year-old boy who had a crate of beer. Others included a 14-year-old girl with a “large quantity of alcohol”, heading towards the park. A 15-year-old boy was caught in Vulcans Lane in Workington – walking past the place of safety – with three litres of extra strong cider.

“Operation Staysafe protects children and also provides a reassuring police presence on the streets,” Sgt Farnworth added.

He said the operation took place as part of Alcohol Harm Reduction campaign week.

Have your say

Why are the Police shocked about something that's been going on for as long as Alcohol has been on sale to the public?

Posted by Stemax1960 on 7 October 2013 at 18:49

The headline is misleading, the police were not surprised that under 18's were drinking but at the sheer amount of alcohol they had. When I was younger you drank to get merry, these days people seem intent on getting paralytic, and it seems that the young are following the adults.
Its also worth noting that unlike the old days, kids can get fake ID off the internet plus the PASS cards which can be too easy to get hold of. They also get older teens to buy alcohol for them.

Posted by Nina on 7 October 2013 at 18:18

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