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Testing kits in alcohol crackdown

PUBLISHED: 17:14 22 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:34 25 August 2010

YOUTHS who covertly drink booze from soft drinks bottles are set to be foiled by police armed with alcohol-testing strips.

YOUTHS who covertly drink booze from soft drinks bottles are set to be foiled by police armed with alcohol-testing strips.

Bexley council has given Safer Neighbourhood police teams in St Mary's, Brampton, Christchurch and Barnehurst litmus paper-styled testers to use in a six month trial.

The strips change colour according to the alcoholic strength of a drink and will be used to target congregating youths in problem areas or who are suspected of getting drunk.

Community Affairs councillor Katie Perrior, said: "This pilot has been really successful in identifying young people drinking alcohol in public - despite their best efforts to hide it.

"We know that some young people like to meet with friends in public places such as parks and open spaces and that a minority of them do so to drink alcohol.

"Their behaviour then causes a nuisance to the law abiding public and a danger to themselves."

Money for the strips was obtained from the Home Office after residents in Bursted Woods complained about groups of youths getting drunk in the street.

Police Sergeant Steve Bateman, from Brampton Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: "My team engaged with a group of youths who were all drinking from cans of coke.

"Some appeared under the influence of alcohol and so we tested all their cans with the strips. One of them was found to contain alcohol which we seized and poured away. The group have not returned since.

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