Bottle violence is stamped out

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A NEW scheme to curb anti-social behaviour from drunk youths is being tested in two local communities.

The Bottle Marking Scheme - which has been developed by Trading Standards - has recently been piloted over two weekends in Ashton and Bryn and has involved the Community Safety Team, Neighbourhood Teams, WLCT Rangers, Youth Mediation team and Greater Manchester Police.

Seventeen retailers in the area agreed to participate in the initiative and were asked to invisibly stamp a range of alcohol brands with unique codes. Alcohol confiscations and litter picked up in these areas were then inspected by officers with ultra violet lights to identify if it had originated from any of the 17 shops involved.

The retailers allowed officers to view CCTV following confiscations of alcohol and as such we were able to gain intelligence on how alcohol is being obtained by under 18s.

Proxy sales were identified as the main source, with one parent seen buying four three litre bottles of cheap cider in the presence of her son - which was believed to have been bought for him.

Coun Nigel Ash said: “I welcome this initiative and hope it will act as a deterrent to preventing both underage young people buying alcohol from off licences and older friends and even parents buying alcohol for underage drinkers.

“I will be very interested in the results of this initiative and hope that the incidents of anti-social behaviour through drunkenness will decrease in Ashton and Bryn.”

Trading Standards are still gathering results from the exercise, but wherever possible, action will be taken against the individuals identified, or if necessary, further pro-active enforcement activities will be carried out.

At present Trading Standards regularly carry out alcohol test purchases at off licences, but the reality is that children often obtain alcohol via a variety of sources, e.g. from older friends who purchase it for them, from their parents, or with the use of fake ID.