Police use new alcohol strips to detect underage drinkers

A NEW weapon is being unleashed by police in Somerset in the fight against underage drinking. New tester strips are being used by police to check

A NEW weapon is being unleashed by police in Somerset in the fight against underage drinking.New tester strips are being used by police to check what youngsters are drinking.The strips can be dipped into anything police suspect may be alcoholic and any drinks which come up positive can then be confiscated.Police are trying out the scheme across the county and the strips will soon be used in the Cheddar area. Officers will also be clamping down on youngsters who drink in parks to try to reduce antisocial behaviour.Cheddar's new sergeant, Mike Tripp, said: "There is underage drinking in the area, but no more than anywhere else."It tends to get worse during the school holidays so the strips will be a useful tool. It's the first time they have been used in the area."Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Somerset County Council and district councils across the county are working together to stop children from getting involved in crime during the summer as part of the Somerset Tackling Alcohol Related Crime (STARC) initiative.Insp Mike Ashwin said: "The purpose of the testing strips is to find alcohol hidden in soft drinks. "We know a minority of youngsters will go to any lengths to hide alcohol and often soft drinks contain hard spirits which have a very detrimental effect. We want youngsters to be able to go out safely and enjoy themselves this summer, but give communities piece of mind that we will take action against underage drinking and antisocial behaviour."The police will also be continuing their checks on pubs, clubs and off licences in Somerset to try to stamp out underage drinking.


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