Parents giving children alcohol in Suffolk

ALCOHOL is being used as a reward by some Suffolk parents to encourage their children to attend school.

The revelation comes as trading standards officers, A&E staff and alcohol support workers gear up to combat underage drinking, which tends to increse when the days get warmer and the evenings lighter.

Marc Titford, principal trading standards officer for Suffolk County Council, said stamping out underage drinking was more difficult than ever because of the way youngsters got their hands on wine, beer and spirits.

He said: 'A community safety officer has reported that she is aware of scenarios where kids who are having problems at school are rewarded by their parents at the end of the week with a four-pack of Stella.These are 15 and 16-year-olds and it really is an area that is very hard to tackle.'

Due to the increase in underage drinking during the school holidays, trading standards officers carried out checks on shops during the Easter holidays using teenage volunteers to see if staff asked for age identification.

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In Suffolk, the failure rate for test purchases was 60pc in 2005/6 but last year, this was down to 15pc.

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