Survey shows parents buy alcohol for their teenagers
Nearly 40% of parents would to give their 16 and 17-year-olds alcohol to go on holiday with friends to celebrae the end of exams, a survey has revealed.
Of 1,000 parents questioned by Drinkaware, more than half said they would provide five or more bottles of wine or spirits for a week.
The charity is tackling alcohol misuse in the Cornish resort of Newquay this summer with local council and police.
Two students died in the town last year after falling from cliffs.
As part of the Newquay Safe initiative, teenagers arriving in the town are being met with police and sniffer-dogs.
Any alcohol found on under-18s will be confiscated.
The 'Got Your Back' campaign encourages friends to look out for each other and think about the short-term risks of excessive alcohol consumption.
In the survey, 36% of parents said they would prefer their child to get alcohol from them rather than an unknown source, while 22% admitted they buy their teenager alcohol to keep track of the amount they drink.
Chris Sorek, chief executive of Drinkaware, said buying alcohol could inadvertently be putting their children at risk.
"Lots of 16 and 17-year-olds will want to mark the end of exams by celebrating with friends on a trip away," he said.
"Parents might think they're doing the right thing by ensuring alcohol comes from them instead of somewhere else, but when young people drink to excess it can compromise their personal safety."
Mr Sorek said it could also increase the chances of teenagers having unprotected sex or being involved in an accident.
He added: "To help their children stay safe, parents should avoid giving them alcohol for unsupervised holidays and talk to them about possible risks."
With thousands of teenagers set to arrive in Newquay after their exams finish, Drinkaware is taking over a cafe on Fistral Beach to create an alcohol-free venue where friends can meet and eat specially discounted food while having access to facts and information about alcohol.
On Monday, Cornwall Coroner Emma Carlyon recorded an open verdict at the inquest of Paddy Higgins.
The 16-year-old, from Winnersh, Berkshire, fell from cliffs in Newquay on 6 July last year.
The inquest in Truro was told tests showed the teenager was three times over the legal drink-drive limit.
Mr Sorek said: "We want to remind young people that you don't need alcohol to celebrate and that drinking too much can be risky."