Police crack down on drinkers in Burnham

POLICE have been testing youngsters drinks as part of a massive crackdown on alcohol-related crime in Burnham.

POLICE have been testing youngsters' drinks as part of a massive crackdown on alcohol-related crime in Burnham.

A rise in the number of youths committing crime has sparked the clampdown, which came to a head over the bank holiday weekend.

Officers were testing the drinks and seizing them from youngsters on Friday and also taking drinks from people in alcohol-free zones.

There are mounting concerns about the amount of alcohol-related crime in the town, especially criminal damage to shops and businesses.

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Police community support officers have been writing to past victims of criminal damage so that they can contact officers quickly and easily should they witness any antisocial behaviour. These areas are also being monitored closely by Sedgemoor District Council CCTV network.

Sergeant Ian Kennett, who led the crackdown, said: "The police and licensees have been working together through the Pubwatch scheme and I have been closely involved for at least five years.

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"There have been many changes of licensees in the past year and I would like to take this partnership forward and tackle those issues that are important to local people.

"The message I want to send is that antisocial behaviour is not acceptable in Burnham.

"We would encourage people to drink sensibly and to enjoy themselves without making others fearful, and to respect local residents and the business community especially late at night.

"We get many complaints relating to late night noise from residents in the town, and we should all do whatever we can to reduce the problem for our residents."

* A weekly music event called Graffiti takes place at Shakers nightclub for youngsters aged over 15 every Friday from 7-11pm. Entry is £5 and includes a soft drink. The event was created in consultation with youngsters in the town and police are encouraging teenagers to use it to help keep it running.

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