STACKS of booze have been snatched from underage drinkers as part of a crackdown on antisocial behaviour.
The alcohol, which includes a huge haul of lager and cider, has been seized from youngsters in Seaburn, Fulwell and Roker during the past two months.
“It’s well known that youth disorder is often fuelled by alcohol,” said Inspector Tony Carty, of Sunderland North Neighbourhood Policing Team.
“Youngsters who drink alcohol are more likely to become involved in antisocial behaviour which causes problems for the wider community.
“These young people are also made vulnerable themselves when they drink and could become involved in crime or become victims of crime.”
The booze seizures come after police announced they were stepping up patrols on the seafront in response to residents’ complains about young people drinking and causing trouble on the coast. >>Click here to read more
Kevan Martin, of the North East Regional Alcohol Forum, said: “Alcohol is a drug and you have to respect it. It kills almost four times more people every year than illegal drugs put together.
“If you get on the wrong side of it, your life will be hell and so will your family’s. Young people are more vulnerable to its effects.”
As part of Operation Ecuador, officers have also stepped up patrols in hotspot areas flagged up by concerned residents.
They have also teamed up with Sunderland City Council’s antisocial behaviour teams to target those responsible.
Off-licences are being targeted, with CCTV being monitored to target adults buying booze for underage youngsters. Shops being encouraged to adopt a Challenge 25 policy.
Insp Carty added: “We want to stop youngsters from getting hold of alcohol in the first place and will continue to work with our partners and licensed premises to target adults who buy alcohol for under-18s.
“Officers will patrol areas where we know young people are gathering and potentially consuming alcohol and causing disorder.
“While the majority of youths are law-abiding and don’t come to the attention of the police, the few that do are being warned of the consequences of their behaviour.”
Councillor Cecilia Gofton, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for responsive services and customer care, added: “Antisocial behaviour is often highlighted as an area of concern by residents across Sunderland.
“We are delighted to support this latest Northumbria Police initiative.”