Crackdown on underage drinkers in Portsmouth

WATCH OUT PCSO Russell Ward with the labels. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (122482-2964)
WATCH OUT PCSO Russell Ward with the labels. ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (122482-2964)
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UNDERAGE drinkers and stores that sell them alcohol are being targeted in a new police scheme.

Police in the Fratton area of Portsmouth are encouraging stores to sign up to the drive, which involves them putting a unique, tamper-proof sticker on alcohol in their shop most commonly consumed by children.

The simple but effective black-and-white stickers bear the Hampshire Constabulary logo and a letter corresponding to a particular store.

That way officers who catch underage drinkers with a stickered bottle or can are able to trace the store it was bought from.

The alcohol will be seized and action taken at the store the alcohol was sold.

Police are also targeting adults who buy booze for children.

The scheme, funded by Hampshire police, is the first of its kind in the south and already 15 stores have signed up to take part.

It could be rolled out across Portsmouth if successful.

Russell Ward, police community support officer, said: ‘We are targeting underage sales of alcohol but also proxy sales where adults buy booze for youngsters.

‘Once we have identified the stores we will then try and work with them and licensing as well to iron out any problems. It’s in the best interests of the stores as well.’

The scheme has been up and running for almost two weeks and so far no-one has been caught breaking the law.

Officers are conducting spot checks, some unannounced, to ensure stores are complying.

Sgt Emma Hart said: ‘Being involved in the scheme means that it is in the store’s interest to always check ID and be aware of proxy sales. It will be harder for underage drinkers to get hold of alcohol in Fratton.’

To get involved call Fratton station on 101.