Monday, July 20, 2009

Operation Snapper

As Chairman of North Down District Policing Partnership I have voiced my support for a PSNI initiative to help deal with the issue of underage drinking and its impact on anti social behaviour.

Operation Snapper, as it is known, is Police lead and is designed to stop underage drinking and help reduce associated anti social behaviour. It stands for Support No Alcohol in Public Places through Partnership, Enforcement and Regulation. The enforcement campaign will run in the Bangor and Holywood area over the Summer to tackle underage drinking in public areas.

Throughout the year, North Down DPP holds a number of meetings in public and meets with numerous community groups to establish their views on crime and policing. We use this information to agree policing priorities and monitor local police performance to ensure the delivery of a policing service, which meets community needs.

One concern that is regularly raised is that of underage drinking. In the last North Down DPP survey, 51% of local people raised the issue of underage drinking as an issue in North Down. The Northern Ireland average was 49%. Similarly anti social behaviour is raised at nearly every meeting in public and consultation event. We have also found that reports of underage drinking and anti social behaviour tend to increase during the good weather, which we all want to enjoy. The DPP regularly met with groups of young people and are aware that not all young people are the same but this is an issue that we need to work together on; and especially in relation to the impact that this has on the residents of the Borough.

Government have recently published an Action Plan designed to prevent, reduce and address young people’s drinking. It is an issue which we all have a part to play in tackling – whether that be through policing, through education , or through promoting greater social responsibility.

The DPP is fully supportive of this initiative and calls on local people to support the police.