Nearly 100 bottles of alcohol seized from underage drinkers at Seaton and Colyton carnivals
PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:23 17 September 2018
Underage drinkers as young as 14 have had alcohol seized from them as part of a carnival crackdown executed by police.
Nearly 100 bottles or cans of alcohol will now be emptied down the drains after police mounted an operation to catch out underage drinkers at carnivals held at Seaton and Colyford.
It comes after some of last year’s carnivals left several ‘comatose’ teenagers in its wake after they hit the booze.
Police also revealed that in some instances, the drink had been purchased for the youngsters by parents.
This year’s East Devon’s carnival circuit is in full swing, and officers are looking to avoid a repeat of last year’s incidents by warning about the repercussions of underage drinking.
Sergeant Andy Squires, who heads up Seaton and Sidmouth’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “Last year, officers were having to look after a succession of comatose youths from about 10pm onwards, incapable of standing or looking after themselves and their personal possessions.
“This not only puts a child in a very vulnerable position, but ties a police officer up for a minimum of half an hour until either a parent or an ambulance arrives.
“We were disappointed to hear from some of the youngsters that the alcohol had been given to them by their parents.
“All the youths we spoke to were polite and respectful but the message is clear - if you are under eighteen and planning to take alcohol to a carnival, don’t bother.
“Have a good time at the fair, without alcohol.”
Sgt Squires said the alcohol seized from Seaton and Colyford Carnivals was a ‘50/50 split’.
While a lot of the confiscated drink comprised cans of cider, some stronger spirits - believed to be vodka - were also being consumed by teenagers.
Officers also failed to be duped by disguised drinkers, who utilised water and fizzy drink bottles to carry stronger brews.
If a person is under 18 and drinking alcohol in public, they can be stopped, fined or arrested by police.
It is also illegal for anyone under 18 to attempt to purchase alcohol, be sold alcohol, or for an adult to buy alcohol for them.