‘OPERATION Dry Up’ has proved successful in Forfar once again.
The long-running Tayside Police initiative takes place throughout all towns in the county at key times of the year.
These times tend to coincide with school holidays and the winter months when young people are more likely to be out drinking on the streets.
Forfar’s community liaison officers Scott Anderson and Ally Smith are pleased with the results of the winter operation so far.
The initiative includes seizing alcohol from underage drinkers and making sure they are taken home safely. Police officers then liaise with parents to make sure they know where their children are and what they are up to during the evenings.
Constable Scott Anderson said: “We have seized a large amount of alcohol so far mostly made up of alcopops, cider, beer and spirits from a number of cases of underage drinking.
“Young people are then taken home to their parents.
“What we are trying to do through ‘Operation Dry Up’ is promote safety for the young people and to educate both them and their parents.”
Through the initiative there has also been a drop in cases of anti-social behaviour from young people who have been drinking.
However, ‘Operation Dry Up’ also has a large focus on the young people themselves and keeping them safe.
Constable Ally Smith said: “Part of the problem with young people drinking in this colder weather is that they don’t realise how much their body temperature has dropped.
“From this aspect it can be really dangerous for them to be outside drinking, especially if the parents don’t know where they are.”
It is for this reason that the community liaison officers are urging parents to know where their children will be. For the most part the reaction from parents has been positive and many have been given an eye-opener about exactly what it is their child has been up to when out and about in the evenings.
Constable Anderson added: “One of the main things that has been highlighted through the campaign is the drop in anti-social behaviour.
“This is a credit to the young people of Forfar.”
The drop in underage drinking and antisocial behaviour has also been attributed to community projects for the young people of the town. These include the Friday Night Project, the Pitstop and Hedz Up.