North West Wales

Police crackdown on 'awful' under-age drinking in Bethesda

Teenage boy drinking alcohol outdoors

Police have launched a crackdown on youngsters drinking in parks and car parks following a rise in problems in a Gwynedd community.

Officers in Bethesda have tried to reason with large groups who have been leaving smashed bottles and litter, but the problem had got worse recently.

North Wales Police PCSO Gareth Davies said their behaviour was having an "awful" impact on the community.

But some residents said youngsters in the town had nowhere to go.

North Wales Police has put a dispersal order in place, giving officers the power to order anyone to leave the area if their behaviour is anti-social.

'Awkward age'

"What we don't want to happen is that an individual from Bethesda is prosecuted or has a dispersal order which could have an affect on their lives in the future," Mr Davies told BBC Radio Wales' Good Morning Wales.

"There is no obvious explanation. They are at an awkward age where they think they are too old to go to a youth club, too young to go to a public house."

One resident, who did not want to be named, also told the programme she was worried about her little boy getting hurt because of all the smashed glass in the parks.

But another claimed the enforcement would not work fearing it would criminalise young people in the town.

"They got a little bit hyperactive, they have got nothing to do, nowhere to go," she said.

"The police are saying they are going to bring in this legislation, but it is not going to work.

"They are going to be moving them around place to place. They need to make sure kids have a safe place to go."

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