Belfast Telegraph

PSNI confiscate alcohol from children more than 7,000 times over four years

Shock from charity chief after learning 34,000 bottles and cans were confiscated from under 18s.

By Amanda Ferguson

Police confiscate alcohol from children in Northern Ireland at rate of one bottle per hour, it has emerged.

Documents obtained by the Irish News reveal PSNI officers found 10-year olds in Holywood, Co Down and Dungannon, Co Tyrone with booze.

One boy in west Belfast had 30 bottle of cider removed from his possession.

The new figures indicate 34,652 bottle or cans of drink were taken from kids in 7,063 incidents over a four year period.

Between 2011 and October 2014 minors were found with 16,376 beer containers, 7,473 containers of cider, 3,194 bottles of spirits and 1,742 wine bottles.

Suzanne Costello, chief executive of Alcohol Action Ireland, said: "The ongoing high levels of alcohol confiscated from children across Northern Ireland is cause for great concern and a stark reflection of our attitudes to and problems with alcohol throughout society."

She added: "We need to seriously examine why children as young as 10-years-old want to drink alcohol."

Top 15 alcohol confiscation hotspots in Northern Ireland:

1 Upper Grosvenor Road, west Belfast

2 Central area, south Belfast

3 Laganbank, south Belfast

4 Ards area, Co Down

5 Lower Grosvenor Road, west Belfast

6 Balmoral, south Belfast

7 Newcastle, Co Down

8 Greater Andersonstown, west Belfast

9 Inner Bangor, north Down

10 Upper Falls, west Belfast

11 Downpatrick, Co Down

12 City centre/Fountain, Derry~Londonderry

13 Pottinger, east Belfast

14 Castlereagh

15 Cookstown, Co Tyrone

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