Police tackling underage drinking problems

POLICE in Banbridge are tackling underage drinking in the local area.

They are asking parents to speak to their children about the consequences of indulging in this activity after a number of incidents in the area.

Last Friday night, 15 June, police were made aware of concerns in relation to young people drinking in the Loughbrickland Park area. Officers attended within ten minutes and spoke to six young people, four males and two females, aged between 16 and 17 years old. Alcohol, including a two-litre bottle of cider, a large bottle of alcopop, six small bottles of alcopop, 25 tins of beer and a large bottle of wine, was seized.

Details of the six teenagers were taken and passed to the Youth Diversion Officer. The parents of the young people were also subsequently contacted.

Constable McGlue, Banbridge, said: “We are determined to educate young people about the dangers of underage drinking. Not only are these young people jeopardising their health but they are also taking chances with their future. Drinking under the age of 18 is breaking the law and, even a low level youth diversion intervention can diminish education opportunities as many colleges and universities ask for this information on their application forms.

“It is essential that parents speak to their children and make them aware of this and other consequences of getting caught up in underage drinking. Parents should also ensure they know where their children are and what they are doing.

“We do not want to prevent anyone from having a good time however we do want to protect our young people from the harm that can come from underage drinking and antisocial behaviour.”

Police will continue to focus on underage drinking, building on the success of recent local partnership initiatives between Banbridge Council, local licensees, the voluntary sector and police to stop the availability of alcohol to young people.

Constable Currie, Lurgan, explained: “We are not only concentrating on taking alcohol from underage drinkers but also want to prevent the supply of alcohol to minors. It is an offence for an adult to buy alcohol for anyone under the age of 18.

“This is not only relevant to Banbridge but right across E District and we will continue to work together to ensure that our young people across the district are kept safe.”