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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Cumbria police carry out night-time operation to identify at risk children

Police in Cumbria carried out a ‘Staysafe Operation’ to identify children at risk of harm at night and take them to a place of refuge.

The operation on Friday involved a number of organisations in Whitehaven, Workington and Cockermouth.

Police patrolling the streets identified youngsters in possession of alcohol, those who were too young to be out late and any involved in anti-social behaviour.

They then took the child to a ‘place of safety’ set up in each town, where they and their parents received information from the support agencies.

During the evening a large number of children were found in groups where alcohol was being consumed. Around 50 youngsters were found with alcohol in Skate Park, Whitehaven.

One 14-year-old girl was found with a large quantity of alcohol in a bag walking towards the skate park in Whitehaven.

She claimed an 18-year-old had bought it for her. Police will make enquiries and if possible will prosecute the offender.

Sergeant Richard Farnworth, of Cumbria Police who led the Workington and Whitehaven operations, said: “Operation Staysafe protects children and also provides a reassuring police presence on the streets.

“I also want to send the clear message to parents that not knowing where your child is at night, allowing them to consume alcohol or allowing them to stay out late on their own, is unacceptable.”

A place of safety was arranged in each town and these were Inspira, in Roper Street, Whitehaven, Inspira, in Vulcans Lane, Workington and Cockermouth Children’s Centre.

The operation took place during the force’s campaign week, highlighting the Alcohol Harm Reduction strategy.

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