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Stay safe! Pontypool Officers warn teenagers about underage drinking

Published: Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Pontypool officers are urging teenagers to think about the consequences of underage drinking after 49 youngsters had their details taken during one evening in Blaenavon for illegally drinking alcohol.

More worryingly, 4 teenagers had to be taken back to Blaenavon Station for their own safety and 2 young girls were so drunk an ambulance had to be called.

Community Support Officer Pauline Lohfink who organised the operation explained, ‘During our evening patrols the main concern was that some of the youngsters were so drunk they were laid on the floor in an unlit wooded area of Blaenavon and in deserted areas of Pontypool Park.

‘We’re urging youngsters to think about the potential consequences of their drinking and not just to think of it as a good night out. They’re not only risking their health but being so drunk puts them in a very vulnerable state.’

All young people dealt with by the Pontypool Neighbourhood Team have been called before an anti-social behaviour panel to decide what further action should be taken and their parents informed. The youngsters also have to attend alcohol abuse workshops.

CSO Lohfink added, ‘Regular patrols on weekends will continue to take place throughout the Pontypool area and we’ll take a zero tolerance approach to underage drinking.’

To find out more about the work of the Neighbourhood Team in Pontypool, visit our website www.gwent.police.uk

Some affects of underage drinking;


If youngsters have been drinking they might unintentionally put themselves in risky situations like getting involved in a fight or walking home alone. Over a third of 16 and 17 year olds have walked home alone at night when drunk.

Alcohol poisoning

Alcohol can be poisonous to anyone that drinks too much in a short space of time but children are especially vulnerable because of their smaller size. In serious situations youngsters could stop breathing, fall into a coma or choke on their own vomit.


Alcohol has almost as many calories as pure fat so drinking can cause weight gain. It is also a diuretic so it dehydrates the body and can make skin look pale and grey. Drinking affects normal sleep patterns too, leading to restless nights and tiredness.

Liver damage

You might think that only lifelong alcoholics get liver disease, but regularly drinking too much can increase a young person’s chances of damaging their liver. And as there aren’t many warning signs of liver damage, a problem might only be discovered when it’s very serious.

Brain development

Drinking can have a long-term impact on memory, reactions and attention span making school work difficult.

Drinking later in life

If children binge drink, they are more likely to be binge drinkers as adults. Regularly drinking in later life can lead to cancer, stroke, heart disease and infertility.