Police in New Mills are asking parents for their support to help clamp down on underage drinking in the town.
During regular patrols on the weekend of Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1, officers from the local policing team came across a number of youths who were gathering in the park and drinking alcohol underage.
This resulted in a number of the children being taken home for being intoxicated.
Following the incident, officers from the New Mills and Hayfield Safer Neighbourhood Team have been speaking with youngsters in the community and have used their information to write the below letter to parents.
They are also warning people of the consequences of breaking the law by buying alcohol for underage children. Offenders can be issued with fixed penalty notices and face further prosecution.
A message for parents and guardians from the New Mills and Hayfield Safer Neighbourhood Team
The winter months often sees an increase in anti-social behaviour in New Mills so we would like to ask you to join us and help stop this type of behaviour and underage drinking in our community.
The amount and strength of alcohol being consumed by our young people is a concern and we will be working hard to tackle this issue to prevent ASB and most importantly, stop any young person being harmed under the influence of alcohol. We can’t do this alone and we need your help.
The open spaces around New Mills are as inviting to our young people as they are to the numerous visitors to the town .Youngsters will often meet at High Lea Park and other open spaces, and whilst this diverts them from disturbing residents in the community, it presents a problem in itself as they are away from help should they require It.
If they consume alcohol they may not feel the effects of the cold at the time and can quickly become ill needing urgent care.
Whilst speaking to the teens, they have told us that they often hang around local off licences and ask passers-by to call into the shop and buy the alcohol for them. Not only does this allow them to get their hands on alcohol whilst underage, it can put the child at risk. Recently a 14-year-old boy had money taken from him by an adult after he had asked him to purchase alcohol.
Other youngsters admitted telling their parents that they were at a local youth event but were camping in an open field; some with alcohol that they stated they had taken from home without their parent’s knowledge.
To help us to tackle this issue we are asking for your support. It is really important to know where your child is at night, when they will be returning home and that no alcohol has been taken by your child from your home.
If your child is staying at their friend’s house, phone or contact their parents to double check. Several young people told us that they tell their parents they are staying with friends when they are elsewhere and their parents never check on them.
Give your child a responsible time to be home by and greet them to ensure that they are not drunk or suffering ill effects.
Talk with your child and explain the consequences of drinking alcohol and being out when intoxicated.
To speak to the New Mills and Hayfield Safer Neighbourhood Team call 101.