Belfast Telegraph

Bangor girl (13) youngest to be caught with alcohol over Easter holiday period in Northern Ireland

By Rachel Martin

A 13-year-old girl is among the youngest underage drinkers police dealt with in Northern Ireland on Easter Monday.

Police confiscated the alcohol from the girl in Bangor and said they would inform her parents.

Officers said they found the girl with vodka in a Lucozade bottle and said she is the youngest to be caught with alcohol so far this Easter.

By lunchtime yesterday, shoppers warned the town was "full of drunk teenagers", as crowds gathered for the town's Spring Street Carnival.

A statement posted by officers read: "It's nice to see so many people coming to Bangor. However, we have just seized alcohol from a 13-year-old girl! Parents to be updated in due course and NHS not required on this occasion."

It's understood the girl was not alone when police found her with the alcohol.

By 3pm, police in Bangor had seized 24 bottles of vodka, 13 bottles of Buckfast, several bottles of alcopop and dozens of bottles of beer.

Ards and North Down UUP councillor Alistair Cathcart said the council had been working with police to try to combat the issue. "It seems to be specifically over Easter weekend - the good weather seems to be a contributor," he said.

"A lot of them will come in on the trains, so it seems to be kids who think they are getting away from their parents for the day and they feel like they can get away with it.

"This year, police have been placing officers at the train stations, so that way they can stop it and confiscate alcohol from the moment it comes into Bangor." Police are expected to release figures for the number of underage drinkers dealt with across Northern Ireland over the weekend later today.

Underage drinkers have been hospitalised 655 times in the past five years in Northern Ireland, figures by The Detail revealed just last month.

In January, a 14-year-old boy was hospitalised after he drank too much on a bus to a club in Cookstown. Between 2011 and 2015, police confiscated 1,245 cans and bottles of alcohol from underage drinkers in Bangor. The area ranked eighth on a list of drinking hotspots compiled by the Irish News.

But it was beaten by neighbouring district Ards, where police took 1,527 alcoholic items from teenagers. The worst area was the Upper Grosvenor Road in west Belfast, where 2,026 cases were reported.

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