Police get tough on underage drinking

POLICE in Portishead have launched a campaign aimed at stopping people buying alcohol and cigarettes for under 18s.

At weekends it is common for groups of youths to congregate outside supermarkets in the town and coerce passers-by into buying alcohol and cigarettes for them.

Now, as part of a drive to reduce antisocial behaviour, PCSOs Deborah Charman and Dawn Tremlett have launched an awareness campaign to ensure people know they are breaking the law if the cigarettes or alcohol for youngsters.

Members of the police team have stepped up patrols at hot spots where this behaviour is prevalent and posters have been put up in all the shops selling the items, to warn customers they could be breaking the law.

PCSO Charman said: “It is an offence to buy alcohol or cigarettes for under 18s and people who do so can be fined up to �5,000. In addition, many of our public areas like High Street and the Lake Grounds are no alcohol zones and so it is also an offence to drink alcohol in these areas anyway.”

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Tackling antisocial behaviour in places such as Wyndham Way car park close to Portishead Medical Centre, which is often alcohol related, has been a PACT priority in Portishead for some time.

PCSO Charman added: “It’s not just a case of tacking individual incidents or moving groups on, it’s about dealing with the grass roots of the problem.”

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Anyone witnessing adults purchasing alcohol or cigarettes for under 18s should contact the police by calling 101.

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