LOCAL police are cracking down on underage drinking in Montrose over the school holiday, with a substantial amount of alcohol already seized.
Inspector Gordon Cryle said officers are stepping up the force’s continuing campaign, Operation Dry Up, and that the amount of alcohol recovered from youngsters over just the past two weeks has been “discouraging”.
The campaign aims to reduce the risk to vulnerable teenagers involved in underage drinking as well as tackle the knock-on effect to the wider community.
Incidents of vandalism, disorderly behaviour, crimes of violence and even serious crime can often follow as a result of the misuse of alcohol by young people.
Inspector Cryle said: “We anticipated there would be an increase after the schools came off and that seems to have been borne out and we’ll continue to crack down on this over the school holidays.
“The recoveries we’ve had are a bit discouraging because youngsters are continuing to drink underage but we will be taking measures to seize alcohol where we can and determine the source.
“First and foremost we’re concerned about the health and well-being of the youngsters we’re taking alcohol from but we’re also concerned about finding out who supplied it.”
Alcohol will be confiscated from any youngster caught in possession of it and, if under the influence of alcohol at the time, they will be taken home by officers.
If not, their names and addresses will be taken and their parents contacted by letter. The types of alcohol seized so far range from bottles and cases of beer, strong cider and alcopops to vodka and other spirits.
Inspector Cryle appealed to parents to make sure they know where their children are and what they are doing and warned local licensees to be careful to whom they sell alcohol.
He said: “If we do find alcohol on youngsters we’ll be making inquiries of where they got it from, whether it was from parents, older relatives or friends.
“We’re asking licensees to be vigilant regarding who they are selling it to and although it could be bought by someone of age, it could be passed on to someone underage.
“If you’re thinking about drinking underage, don’t do it. The chances are you will be caught.”