Gallons of alcohol and suspected illegal drugs have been seized by the PSNI in a major post-exam operation.
Operation Snapper - designed to crackdown on end-of-exam revellers’ anti-social behaviour has been hailed a success by police in the Lurgan, Portadown and Craigavon areas.
Dozens of ‘snaps’ of seized alcohol - mostly Buckfast - plus suspected illegal drugs have been posted by the PSNI Craigavon on their Facebook page.
Much to the chagrin of some, local police also took video of alcohol - mostly Buckfast - being poured down drains.
Chief Inspector Jon Burrows said last night: “We have spoken to dozens of young children who have been drinking very strong alcohol. We have recovered lots of alcohol and we have also seized over 200 tablets. This alcohol and those drugs were going to be consumed by young people tonight.
“They are hugely vulnerable to be assaulted, to getting involved in crime and actually also being sexually assaulted.
“They also cause serious crime and disorder out in the communities and affect vulnerable residents.
“Today we are safeguarding young people but we are also cracking down on anti-social behaviour,” he said.
He warned parents that often their children are out of sight, in wooded areas, forests, parks ‘getting very drunk, very early in the day. And then they are very vulnerable to being victims of crime or getting involved in crime’.
At one swoop in the Moyraverty area, police said they seized suspected Tramadol tablets.
On a Facebook post PSNI Craigavon said: “Boom! 100 suspected Tramadol tablets. If the guy who legged it from Moyraverty like a little boy wants to put on his big boy pants and come into Lurgan station to reclaim them, we’re here all night.
“Great skills from Brownlow NPT.”
The PSNI had vowed earlier this week to be out in force to crackdown on anti-social behaviour which has marred end-of-exam celebrations in the past.
And Op Snapper has been hailed as a huge success.
One police officer quipped on Facebook last night: “Due to the success off Op Snapper, and as a sign of his appreciation for your overwhelmingly supportive, kind and at times hilarious comments throughout the night, Chief Burrows would like to invite you all back to his just as soon as the shift is done.
“It would normally be BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle), however it appears that we have all of the drink. All of it.
“If your tastes are complete ming, we can cater for you. If however you would rather drink out of the Bann than some of this little lot, you may be disappointed. See you at the Chiefs!”
In a hard hitting video also posted on the PSNI Craigavon site, Gareth Hampton, a consultant at Craigavon A&E spoke of how drink and drugs really turn out.
“Most young people set out to drink, get blocked, hang around with their mates and have a good time. But unfortunately lots of them end up seeing me. Cold, lonely and on their own. No mates and covered in their own vomit and their own pee. Even worse, some people combine drugs and alcohol, whether it is prescription or legal highs, they end up really sick. And the worst part of my job is sitting down with their friends and family and telling them, unfortunately, they have died because of what they have taken.
“Please don’t make me have another conversation with a family member. Take care of yourselves.”
Police said they set up Op Snapper because each year they are in undated ‘with calls about drunk teenagers fighting, falling in front of cars, engaging in serious anti-social behaviour, putting fear into the elderly and vulnerable, and generally being a bit of a pain in the backside’.