Operation TARPA to Tackle Underage Drinking in Tamworth

teen drinkingA hard-hitting operation aimed at tackling underage drinking and helping young school leavers to enjoy themselves in safety is taking to the streets of Tamworth for the sixth year this summer.

Operation TARPA (Targeted Alcohol-Related Partnership Activity) is a Tamworth Community Safety Partnership initiative – led by Tamworth police and involving partners including Tamworth Borough Council community wardens and housing staff, youth workers and T3 drug and alcohol service.

TARPA aims to allow school leavers to enjoy themselves in a way, which does not result in harm, either to themselves or to others, damage to property of ASB affecting Tamworth residents and businesses, while taking a zero tolerance approach to underage drinking.

The operation will take place throughout Tamworth on the evenings of Friday July 22 – the last day of term – and Thursday August 25, exam results day.

On the evenings of the operation, partners will be conducting high-visibility patrols around the town centre and known hotspots for young people to gather, as well as acting on intelligence received throughout the operation.

The aim is to engage with young people and provide help and assistance, as well as education on issues including underage drinking and ASB.  Any young people found causing ASB, disorder, crime or drinking while underage will be dealt with positively on the night.

In the week leading up to the operations, police and Trading Standards will be focusing on off-licences to tackle the issues of underage sales and proxy buying, where adults buy alcohol for minors.

Young volunteers will be sent into off-licenses to try to buy alcohol.  Some stock will also be marked with invisible ink so that it can be traced to where it was bought if seized during Operation TARPA.

Operation TARPA has been running in Tamworth during the summer months since 2011 and is regarded as a big success.

Cllr Stephen Doyle, Cabinet Member for Communities & Wellbeing, said, “Residents tell us that anti-social behaviour is one of their major concerns and operations like TARPA play a major part in reducing those problems and providing reassurance.”

Inspector Jason Nadin from Tamworth Police said, “Operation TARPA has been very successful over the last six years.  It has a major impact on the reduction of underage drinking and anti-social behaviour, as well as providing reassurance to residents.

“The Partnership believes in and supports the young people of Tamworth and has, through the Space scheme, provided alternative activities for them to become engaged with, but where the minority are taking part in unacceptable behaviour, we will deal with this positively.”

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