Concern for teens after Sidmouth Carnival booze haul

PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 October 2010

BOOZE HAUL: Scores of cans and bottles are only of half what police confiscated

BOOZE HAUL: Scores of cans and bottles are only of half what police confiscated

Sidmouth Police

Adults suspected of illegally supplying alcohol to youngsters are under investigation, and parents have been warned: “Kids are drinking themselves to death”.

HUGE HAUL: Kids had so much alcohol officers couldn't carry it all.

Adults suspected of illegally supplying alcohol to youngsters are under investigation, and parents have been warned: “Kids are drinking themselves to death”.

Officers confiscated around 140 litres of lager, cider, wine and spirits including vodka and whisky on Saturday evening- so much they couldn’t carry it all.

“It’s only a matter of time before a young person is seriously injured or even dies as a result of alcohol abuse,” said Sidmouth Sergeant Andy Turner after one juvenile was taken away in an ambulance from overdosing on drink.

He said youngsters brazenly walked around drunk with backpacks full of alcohol.

“For us, it was like shooting fish in a barrel,” added PS Turner, “some were found in places where they thought police weren’t going to be. The rest were just stupid- clearly drinking in the streets of a town jam-packed with police.”

“I understand kids will experiment, what bothers me is they are drinking to excess.

“One child had a nearly empty bottle of vodka. That is drinking at danger levels. It’s kids drinking themselves to death and they just don’t see it.”

“With all the work that we’ve done over the years on this issue, I’m disgusted.

He has vowed police will contact the parents of every child found with alcohol, and social services will be notified in some cases to assess whether children are at risk.

“Professionals are doing their jobs. Adults responsible for children aren’t doing their bit, and society is paying the price… this is costing us a fortune,” said PS Turner.

He revealed three people are being investigated for supplying alcohol and face an £80 fine or a court appearance.

“We’ve checked with off-licences, and believe the alcohol is coming from home,” he added.

“Despite our best efforts in asking parents to work with us and not supply children with alcohol, the message is not getting through.

“I’d rather my officers were out dealing with burglaries and car crime than having to spend entire shifts on jobs like this.

PS Turner said most youngsters caught were secondary school pupils in Sidmouth and its surrounding areas- most of whom had received preventative alcohol impact talks from officers.

“It’s soul destroying really, they don’t know how to help themselves. They are going to be victims of crime,” he added.

“A lot of effort went in to the event. Had we not got all that alcohol it probably would have destroyed the Carnival,” he said.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald