Young drinkers are supplied with drink

THE vexing issues of grog-fuelled crime and underage drinking surfaced at Coffs Harbour City Council's meeting on Thursday.

Cr David Featherstone said much of the crime in the community was alcohol-related and a lot of vandalism in the area was caused by youth.

He said the council's crime prevention and safety plan, which was subsequently adopted, did not address the issue of people re-selling alcohol to young people.

He said youth weren't able to buy alcohol from licensed premises, but they were being supplied by other parties.

"It's well known, particularly in Woolgoolga, where they are going to get their alcohol. Why don't the police clamp down on these illegal sellers of alcohol," he said.

Cr Featherstone claimed people were buying the grog in Coffs Harbour and re-selling it in Woolgoolga.

The council's city services director, Jason Gordon, said the council would take up the issue with police.

The mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, said all citizens had the responsibility of reporting such incidents to police, and he had done just that when he once saw it happening two years ago.

He said on that occasions six kids, ranging in age from eight to 15, were hovering around a man, aged about 30, who was selling alcohol to them.

"He was quite open about it," Cr Rhoades said.

"If the police know, they will keep an eye on it."

Cr Bill Palmer said the community would watch with interest the Federal Government's plans to tackle underage binge drinking.

"It's a shame we allowed the dressing up of alcohol like ordinary soft drinks," he said.

The council received seven submissions when the crime prevention plan was on public exhibition.

The comments called for more closed circuit television in business districts, the need for neighbourhood watch in beachside residential areas, more youth-friendly areas, and regular youth-specific entertainment.


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