Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Parents asked to assist in clamp down on underage drinking at Heysham beauty spot

Police are clamping down on underage drinking at a Heysham beauty spot that is being blighted by the youngsters’ anti-social behaviour – and are asking parents to help them.

Residents have again raised concerns that noisy youths congregating at Heysham Barrows, home to the ruins of St Patrick's Chapel and the stone graves of Vikings, are carrying out damage and leaving litter after going there to drink alcohol.

There have been problems before, reported by the police in their local In Touch newsletter (PDF) last year. Last month, the Lancashire Evening Post reported that firefighters had to put out fires on the Barrows that were believed to have been started deliberately.

Members of Heysham’s neighbourhood police team are now tackling the problems and are asking parents to assist them.

Officers will be confiscating alcohol and using ‘direction to leave’ powers to disperse groups that meet at the site – those that return within a specific time can then be arrested. Youngsters may also be taken home to their parents and could find themselves subject to a Youth Referral Scheme, in a bid to improve their behaviour.

“This is a beauty spot that is used by a large number of people but some of this alcohol-fuelled behaviour is spoiling it for those who want to make use of the site," says PCSO Chris Dyson, Heysham ward.

“We will be clamping down on this and are asking parents to help us too – do they know where their children are going in the evening? Do they know who is buying them the alcohol? Parents have a responsibility to make sure that their children are safe and aren’t causing any trouble.”

• Anyone with information about those buying alcohol for underage youngsters can report it to the neighbourhood police team on 01524 596986, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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