STRATHEARN police are working hard to crack down on anti-social drinking in the area.
With the recent spell of unseasonably warm and sunny weather, there has been an increase in anti-social drinking in Auchterarder, Crieff and surrounding beauty spots.
And police officers in the section have seized almost 33 litres of alcohol from children since the start of April as part of a concerted effort to tackle under-age drinking.
Community Crime Officer Sarah Jane Bell said: “Unfortunately there are a minority of people, both adults and youths, who persist in engaging in anti-social behaviour whilst under the influence of alcohol.
“I have recently been informed by members of the public that a number of broken bottles and discarded cans have been found on The Knock and the area known as ‘the sands’ at Lady Mary’s Walk.
“This is the sort of thoughtless and irresponsible behaviour which can easily lead to serious consequences either for the drinkers themselves or for other people or animals.
“One gentleman advised me his dog suffered a cut paw after standing on a broken bottle on Lady Mary’s Walk. Many people also take their children for walks in these areas and injury could easily befall a young child thanks to the actions of a small minority of people with no regard for others.
“I would appeal to anyone who goes to these areas to please think about the potential consequences of your actions. Some of these ‘out of town’ locations are covered by the bylaws which allow police to issue £40 fixed penalty notices to persons caught drinking alcohol in public places.”
PC Bell explained that children under 16 years old caught with booze will have it confiscated and will be taken home to their parents, with further enquiries made into where they got the drink.
She added: “I would also ask parents to be aware of where their children are and to be on the look out for any strange behaviour when they return home. If your child is keen to go straight to their room when they arrive home is it because they have been drinking alcohol?
“We will be working hard over the summer to combat this problem.
“A child or young person who purchases or attempts to purchase alcohol when underage commits an offence. Furthermore, those who sell alcohol to young people, or those individuals who buy it on their behalf also commit an offence and if caught will be prosecuted. Supplying alcohol to those under the age of 18 will always be reported to the procurator fiscal and you could face a fine of up to £5,000 or even a prison sentence.”
Those caught may also be guilty of littering by dropping empty cans and bottles and could be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
Anyone who witnesses acts of underage drinking on the streets or people buying alcohol for youngsters should contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222. Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.