UNDERAGE drinking led to a police helicopter being scrambled above the skies of Pocklington at the weekend, police have revealed.
More than 20 youngsters gathered above the town on Chapel Hill on Saturday evening to drink, but after the parents of one 13-year-old girl reported her missing, police called for aerial assistance.
The helicopter circled the town several times at around 10.30pm and spotted the group in the darken wooded area, away from the public.
The teens then scattered and local officers then spent over two hours rounding them up, some of which were described as being “heavily in drink”.
Sergeant Pete Rogers of Pocklington Police promised to “come down hard” on those involved, including those who had supplied the teenagers with the drink, but has called for parents to take responsibility.
The police helicopter, known as Oscar 99 and based at Humberside Airport, costs approximately £1,600 an hour to operate.
Sgt Rogers said: “The helicopter was called out because of a concern for safety, as a result we have spoken with Woldgate College and we are in the process of issuing warnings to their parents about underage drinking.
“It seems that many of the teenagers had made out they were going to some sleep over.
“In the run up to the summer holidays it’s a necessity for parents to know where their children are.
“The bottom line is that they should know where they are and what they are doing.
“We are taking this very seriously and potentially we could have ended up with a serious incident. At least one of them was violently sick and some very heavily in drink.
“Clearly these situations are fraught with danger.”
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Sgt Rogers added: “We will be closely watching the area as a result and certainly will be looking at taking further action with some individuals involved. It’s not acceptable and we will come down hard on them.
“It caused an awful lot of upset and concern for a parents. The last thing we want is to have a tragedy.”
Sgt Rogers warned that adding to the obvious health risks of heavy drinking, there is a chance it could come hinder the yougnsters in later years with police records for drunken behaviour being kept on file.
Woldgate College’s headteacher Jeff Bower spoke with Sgt Rogers about the incident earlier this week, and confirmed the school would be taking its own course of action.
He said: “‘I am very concerned to hear that a number of Woldgate students have caused problems on Saturday in the local community.
“I will be asking the police for details - those involved must appreciate that, even at weekends, they are representatives of Woldgate College and if they misbehave they can expect repercussions within college.”