Operation Offwatch launched

Police Scotland are once more launching Operation “Offwatch”, in anattempt to repeat the success of the campaign last year.

The scheme aims to combat the purchase of alcohol by those who are underage and the crimes that stem from its consumption, while also remembering the serious effect this has on a young person’s health. The operational order states that: “Underage drinkers cause a variety of problems for the community and it is hoped that this campaign will release some of the tensions and incidents that occur locally, ensuring a safer community for all.”

The strategy to tackle the issue involves a variety of methods. Shop owners who sell alcohol will mark the most popular selling brands with a UV pen with their shop name to highlight where youths are purchasing their alcohol. Other tactics include a signed charter on those refused the sale of alcohol and high visibility patrols in both known hotspots and within the shops. The campaign is taking place after the public reported a growing trend of youths causing trouble from January to April, with alcohol almost always being the prominent cause. It will be advertised to help get the word out, and Community Police Officers will promote and educate by holding talks at the Douglas Ewart High School as well as community council meetings and Pubwatch.