Police call time on underage drinkers
Dated: 11 May 2007
Officers in Gateshead have seized more than 60 litres of alcohol since September in an operation targeting underage drinking.
Operation Ibex has been running in the Blaydon and Winlaton areas for eight weeks. Officers have made regular checks on off licences and pubs believed to be selling drink to youths in areas where there have been reports of anti-social behaviour and damage.
A lamppost CCTV camera was used during the operation and officers seized and disposed of 65 litres of alcohol, made six arrests, carried out 16 stop and searches and submitted 23 anti-social behaviour forms.
Following a request from the successful Blaydon/Winlaton Pubwatch scheme, officers carried out pub walk-throughs in both areas, which proved popular with local people. The scheme, managed by Winlaton Neighbourhood Beat Manager PC Chris Cooke, currently has 38 people banned following incidents of drunkenness, violence, damage and drugs offences.
High profile patrols and off licence visits were also made by police officers, leading to an increase in the amount of information supplied by members of the community.
Neighbourhood Inspector for the area Keith Middleton, said: "This operation was a good example of how the officers in Winlaton and Blaydon listened to their community and acted on their information.
"We hope this reassures the community that their concerns are taken seriously and we will continue to target offenders. Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated."
Councillor David Napier, cabinet member for community safety, said: "Underage drinking is one of the problems consistently mentioned by communities as having a major impact on anti-social behaviour.
"This operation has really contributed to community safety in Winlaton and Blaydon and we hope to extend it to other areas of Gateshead."