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Police team target young drinkers

PUBLISHED: 14:23 22 September 2009 | UPDATED: 15:06 03 July 2010

PCSO Lee Brown with Sue Adcock from AJ’s in Cobholm, one of the shops which has displayed warning posters about purchasing alcohol for people underage.

PCSO Lee Brown with Sue Adcock from AJ’s in Cobholm, one of the shops which has displayed warning posters about purchasing alcohol for people underage.

UNDERAGE drinkers in Cobholm and Southtown are finding it harder to get hold of alcohol following an initiative by the area's neighbourhood policing team.

UNDERAGE drinkers in Cobholm and Southtown are finding it harder to get hold of alcohol following an initiative by the area's neighbourhood policing team.

The campaign by Cobholm and Southtown Safer Neighbourhood Team has seen adults who purchase alcohol on behalf of young people targeted.

Police Community Support Officer Lee Brown explained that the problem of underage drinking was highlighted shortly before the school summer holidays.

PCSO Brown said: “Just before the summer holidays we noticed groups of young people hanging around outside shops. They would wait for adults to pass by, then approach them and ask if they would purchase alcohol on their behalf.”

In an attempt to prevent the behaviour members of the policing team delivered posters to local stores highlighting the consequences of purchasing alcohol for people underage.

People caught purchasing alcohol for people underage face an £80 on-the-spot fixed penalty notice and the offence carries a maximum fine of £5,000.

The team has been working closely with several shops including AJ's and the Co-op in Cobholm, Lichfield Stores in Southtown, along with supermarkets Lidl and Tesco.

Sue and Bob Adcock, who own and run AJ's in Mill Road, Cobholm, formerly Londis, said the posters and high visibility patrols had had a positive impact in reducing the number of youths gathering outside the shop.

Mrs Adcock said: “The work by local police has been very good and we have certainly noticed a difference because the youths do not hang around the shop anymore.”

The shop operates a policy where only people aged over 20 can purchase alcohol.

Mr Adcock was able to assist police in identifying a man who had purchased alcohol for underage people at the shop.

He provided police with an image of the man from the shop's CCTV and as a result officers were able to identify the man and caution him.

PCSO Brown said young people were encouraged to hang around the play area in Cobholm known as The Cage.

He said: “We have had a positive response from the stores about the posters. Purchasing alcohol for underage people is a criminal offence and anyone caught can expect police to take firm action.”

Contact: Cobholm and Southtown Safer Neighbourhood Team on 0845 456 4567 or visit sntcobholmsouthtown@norfolk.pnn.police.uk.


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