Girls (16) found with vodka at Clitheroe Railway Station

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SEVEN youngsters were taken to safety in a night-time under-age drinking operation.

Police officers, Special Constables and Ribble Valley trading standards officers carried out joint patrols across the borough between 6.30pm and 1am to identify young people who were believed to be vulnerable or at risk of significant harm.

Seven children were taken to a place of safety, including two 16-year-old girls who were found at Clitheroe railway station with vodka, and an intoxicated 16-year-old boy who was found with seven fireworks near the castle grounds.

Officers seized 16 litres of beer, cider and spirits during the operation.

The action was part of the CANsafe scheme, a Community Alcohol Network initiative which involves agencies working together to tackle under-age drinking and anti-social behaviour.

Chief Inspector Joanne McHugh said: “Police officers regularly deal with the consequences of drunken teenagers who become involved in crime or anti social behaviour.

“This project is designed to intervene with these young people early, to seize alcohol and to protect vulnerable young people by removing them from the streets.

“The operation also allows us to make sure young people or families receive additional support where it is needed.”

Bill Alker, coordinator for Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership, welcomed the CANsafe initiative in Clitheroe.

He said: “Judging from the results, it is a warning shot to any young person who may be considering drinking under-age or taking illegal substances.

“It also sends a timely message to parents of teenagers about this type of behaviour and how it will be tackled.”

Anyone with information or concerns about under-age drinking or anti social behaviour can contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.