Belfast Telegraph

New signs target anti-social behaviour

A new initiative has been launched to help deal with the issue of underage drinking and its impact on anti-social behaviour in North Down.

Specially designed signage, which will aim to reduce underage drinking and its impact on anti-social behaviour and criminal damage, is now on every shopping trolley in Bloomfield Shopping Centre, Bangor.

North Down District Policing Partnership (DPP), the PSNI, Bloomfield Shopping Centre, Marks and Spencer and Tesco all support the scheme.

Speaking at the launch, DPP chair Marion Smith said: “Throughout the year, North Down DPP holds a number of meetings in public and meets with numerous community groups to establish their views on crime and policing.

“One concern that is regularly raised is that of underage drinking. In the last North Down DPP survey in 2008, 51 percent of local people raised the topic of underage drinking as an issue in North Down.

“We hope that the signs on the trolleys will send out a message to young people and their parents that this is not acceptable.”

Jamie Bill, Bloomfield centre manager, said: “Bloomfield Shopping Centre and its anchor retailers M&S and Tesco are happy to be at the centre of a thriving out of town community and as such welcome any scheme designed to help, inform or protect our neighbours and visitors. This is the second in a series of initiatives that the centre and retailers will be working on with the DPP and PSNI aimed at addressing the concerns of residents and helping them protect themselves and their property.”

Sergeant Lynda Blackmore, community safety sergeant for North Down, added: “The PSNI continually work with groups of young people and are aware that not all young people are the same but this is an issue that we need to work together on; and especially in relation to the impact that this has on the residents of the borough.

“The DPP hopes that the initiative will send a clear message to young people who drink on our streets and those may be buying the alcohol for them that it is not acceptable and it won’t be tolerated.”

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