Drunken ‘outsider’ kids gatecrash Sidmouth carnival fun

Offenders from Ottery, Honiton, Lyme Regis and Exmouth drank until unconscious

DRUNKEN teens from other towns gate-crashed Sidmouth carnival night fun and downed booze until they were unconscious.

Police this week lavished praise on the majority of Sidmouth’s well-behaved young people – but said they were disappointed with the anti-social antics of a small group of youths from places like Ottery, Honiton, Lyme Regis and Exmouth.

Under-age drinkers drained the resources of emergency services as festivities moved to a fair at the Ham on Saturday.

Ten separate calls were made to the ambulance service between the end of the carnival procession and 4am. Two alleged assaults involving juveniles are also being investigated by police.

“It was very disappointing a large number of children came across from neighbouring towns and ignored warnings given,” said Sergeant Andy Turner.

“They brought alcohol and either became so ill they required hospital treatment, or engaged in anti-social behaviour or criminal offences.

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“I know that three separate ambulances were called to the Ham to deal with kids unconscious through drink. It’s sad that a small minority once again used the carnival as an excuse to engage in such behaviour.”

Sgt Turner warned parents of collared children: “Expect a knock at the door”.

He said offences of supplying alcohol to juveniles, public order disturbance and obstructing officers by giving false details were all being investigated.

“This was a very small proportion. Most people were good natured and well-behaved,” said Sgt Turner.

“Congratulations to those children who heeded the warnings.”

Sgt Turner said the carnival procession passed without incident and praised organisers for doing and “terrific” job.

East Devon’s Youth Prevention Officer, PC Gary Gates, spoke to Year 11 children at Sidmouth College prior to the carnival and has thanked them for listening.

No alcohol was confiscated from teenagers with Sidmouth addresses.

The neighbourhood policing team set up a carnival night action plan to tackle problems that arose last year when they confiscated 140litres of booze.

Special Constables were tasked to check for youngsters drinking and to patrol areas they frequent.