They may look like ordinary strips of paper, but actually they’re the latest secret weapon in the fight against under-age drinking.
Craven police have adopted the alcohol testing kits in an attempt to foil teenagers who try to disguise their tipple by mixing the booze with soft drinks.
Officers can now detect the presence of alcohol with the new colour-changing strips and obtain on-the-spot results without having to taste a drop.
“The alcohol strips are being rolled out throughout all of Craven district,” said Skipton’s Sergeant Paul Cording.
“There will be no more pulling the wool over our eyes now. Typically, we’ll get a group of youths that have been drinking out of a coke bottle, but it’s actually mixed with vodka.
“There is not a major problem with under-age drinking, it’s just a small minority. But it’s important to stamp it out, as there is a direct correlation between the consumption of alcohol and minor criminal damage.
“We can use the alcohol strips as a form of early intervention and then pour the alcohol away in front of them if necessary,” said Sgt Cording.
The initiative comes in the wake of a clampdown on young drinkers in which police officers demanded the mobile phone numbers of parents to put them in the picture about what their offspring had been doing.
“Too often, parents abrogate their responsibilities regarding their children, not knowing where they are or who they are with,” said the head of Skipton’s Safer Neighbourhood Team, Inspector Craig Linton.
“When I come across youths drinking under age or being involved in anti-social behaviour, I ask for the parents’ home or mobile numbers and I ring them there and then.
“If I don’t get the number I say I’ll lock them up and that generally does the trick. I’m sick and tired of people thinking they know more about their rights than their responsibilities and this will change. We’re ruthless with yobbos, street drinking and violent offenders.”
Youngsters caught in possession of alcohol can expect police to confiscate it.
In some circumstances youth reprimands are issued to the offenders.
The alcohol strips are just one of a number of high-tech measures being introduced, which include mini-CCTV cameras which police can wear as an ear-piece.
Source - http://www.cravenherald.co.uk/news/4482946.Now_under_age_drinkers_can___t_hide_their_alcohol/
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