North East families warned of booze dangers as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions change

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Parents are being urged to keep any eye on their teenagers as coronavirus lockdown restrictions continue to ease.

Alcohol awareness group Balance launched a new campaign following reports of young people gathering to drink alcohol and use other substances.

The What’s the Harm? campaign across Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and County Durham will be running across radio and online for seven weeks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Most alcohol consumed by children comes from the family home and parents may unknowingly be undermining the law, risking health and fuelling anti-social behaviour by supplying it.

One of the campaign's postersOne of the campaign's posters
One of the campaign's posters

Balance is encouraging parents to visit the campaign website for advice.

Director Colin Shevills said: “It is clear the easing of lockdown has brought with it a release for our teenagers. The problem is that adding alcohol can create a potentially dangerous mix.

“Nobody wants to think their child might be the one getting drunk, taking risks, having an accident or getting into a situation they can’t handle.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"So we are urging parents to think twice about supplying alcohol and undermining over 18 laws which exist to protect our children.

The campaign is targeting parents of teenagersThe campaign is targeting parents of teenagers
The campaign is targeting parents of teenagers
Read More
Dangers of underage drinking take centre stage as pupils watch hard-hitting play

“The fact is most of the alcohol which children drink comes from the family home. There is a myth that it makes them less curious – however it is more likely to give the green light to regular drinking and all the risks that come with it.”

Official figures show around one in 10 pupils aged between 11 and 15 in the region have drunk alcohol in the last week.

Inspector Donald Wade, of Northumbria Police, added: “The overwhelming majority of young people are an absolute credit to themselves and the communities where they live.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Figures show around one in ten children aged 11-15 have had alcohol in the last weekFigures show around one in ten children aged 11-15 have had alcohol in the last week
Figures show around one in ten children aged 11-15 have had alcohol in the last week

"However, we know that alcohol can be a factor in drawing under-age teenagers into anti-social behaviour which can have a corrosive impact on their local area.

“During lockdown, we have seen an increase in the number of some reported crimes including anti-social behaviour, with a significant proportion of those incidents referring to suspected breaches of Covid-19 regulations which have been reported to us by members of the public.

“We all have a responsibility to respect our communities and our fellow citizens and we must not undermine everything we have sacrificed during lockdown.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive.

We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.

If you can, please do pick up a copy when you are at the shops.

Thank you for your support.