Boozy teens running amok
UNDERAGE drunken teenagers are causing havoc in Clackmannanshire, according to official figures.
There were 229 crimes committed by tanked up kids aged 17 and under, over the past year.
Of those offences, 63 were carried out by children under the age of 16 - and a third of those were committed between midnight and 5am.
The figures from Central Scotland Police's Chief Constable report reveal that a higher proportion of underage boozers were committing crimes in the Wee County than in Stirling and Falkirk areas.
Chief Constable Derek Penman said the statistics caused him the "great concern".
And a Hillfoots councillor believes the figures could be worse.
Councillor Archie Drummond claims there is a perception in his ward that there are more problems with alcohol than are being reported.
He has now asked for clarification on the issue.
Mr Drummond said, "There is a genuine concern about antisocial behaviour in part of my ward in relation to drinking in the street and associated criminality and the chief constable's report seems to me to be discordant with that."
Alcohol education - as part of Substance Misuse Education - is covered at schools within Health and Wellbeing of the Curriculum for Excellence.
Clackmannanshire Council says it fully delivers this to children aged 3-18, with extra support for those that "may be at risk".
Councillor Ellen Forson, Education Committee Convenor, said, "We work very closely with a wide range of partners and agencies to ensure that knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes within alcohol misuse education are delivered in an up- to -date and appropriate way to enrich, consolidate and enhance learning."
The figures from the Chief Constable's report to Clackmannanshire Licensing Board reveal that between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012 there were 1562 crimes committed involving alcohol, including 625 assaults and 65 individuals caught drinking in public (two of those under 16 years old).
There were 166 crimes committed by drunk children aged 16 or 17 years old, compared with 207 in Stirling and 309 in Falkirk, and of those offences 58 (or 35 per cent) occurred between midnight and 5am,
Children aged under 16 committed 63 crimes in Clackmannanshire whilst under the influence of alcohol, with 19 of those (or 30 per cent) occurring between the hours of midnight and 5am.
These figures compared unfavourably with Stirling which had 82 under-16 crimes (16 per cent committed after midnight) and Falkirk with 117 offences (11 per cent committed after midnight).
Chief Constable Penman reported, "From the statistical information it appears that there are a higher proportion of children offending whilst under the influence of alcohol within the Clackmannanshire than any other area within the force. Furthermore, more offences are being committed by children from the period between midnight and 0500 hours within the Clackmannanshire Council area than either Falkirk or Stirling Council areas.
"Of increasing concern are the continued instances of agent purchases of alcohol by adults for children or young persons across the force despite increased awareness both locally and nationally."
In the past year the police had deployed underage test purchasers 11 times in the county with all licensed premises passing the test by refusing to sell the teenagers alcohol.
He went on, "Central Scotland Police will continue to carry out policing activity designed to prevent the sale of alcohol to children and young persons. Furthermore, we will continue to robustly investigate incidences of the sale or supply of alcohol to children and young persons by continuing to treat this as a priority."
This article appeared in Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser 15 Aug 12
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