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Warning on teenage binge-drinking

A police chief has warned that the country urgently needs to wake up to the epidemic of binge-drinking among teenagers.

Ken Jones, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, also criticised parents who supply their underage children with booze, citing police data showing up to 50% are getting it from their mothers and fathers.

And he attacked the drinks industry for targeting youngsters and exporting its "negative costs onto the streets, hospitals and into the criminal justice system".

He said: "We need to take a hard look at this and whether we should we really be looking to make profits on the back of this sort of misery.

"We've got a generation of binge-drinkers now who have become habituated to that.

"Elements of the industry are taking their role much more seriously, but I have to say many more are not.

"We can't allow them to continue to export their negative costs on to the streets, hospitals and into the criminal justice system. It's got to stop."

He made the call as figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats showed that the number of children admitted to hospital after attending Accident and Emergency as a result of binge-drinking has risen by 37% since 2001. The total in 2006-07 was 8,072 - up from 5,885 in 2000-01.

Association of Chief Police Officers

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