Youths face ban over booze shopping bid
A GANG of teens as young as 15 could be banned from a shopping centre after they were caught brazenly asking customers to buy them booze.
The group of four boys entered the store in late last Friday afternoon and were seen by shop security hanging around the drink aisle at Asda Walmart, in Haydon Wick .
When they were approached and told to leave one of the youngsters became verbally abusive and police were called, although the gang had fled by the time officers arrived.
Police are trying to identify the teens and have said they will be issued with bans from the Orbital Shopping Park and also warned that any adults who buy alcohol for those who are underage can also face prosecution.
PC Matt Lewis, community beat manager for Haydon Wick, said any youths who cause trouble on the site could expect to be banned.
He said: “Four youths, all aged about 15, were bothering shoppers in Asda in the drinks aisle trying to persuade customers to buy them alcohol. Fortunately Asda has a robust policy.
“Two of the males have already been identified, and we are making inquiries to identify the others.
“Once we have done so these individuals will be issued with banning notices preventing them from coming onto the Orbital Shopping Park.
“The owners of the park are well within their rights to impose a ban and we will work closely with them to help assist with that.
“It is also worth pointing out it is an offence to buy alcohol for someone who is underage and thankfully no one did so on this occasion.”
Mark Gibson, duty manager at Asda Walmart, said: “There were a group of four youths who were quite blatantly asking members of the public to buy alcohol for them.
“When security approached one male and asked him to leave the store he became verbally abusive.
“Police were informed and allegedly they had been trying to go into another store. We work very closely with the police and have our own strict challenge 25 policy.
“We would support the police in pursuing bans for the youths involved. It is the first time I’ve heard of this happening at this store – it is not a recurring problem and certainly less so since challenge 25 was introduced.”
Anyone with any information should contact north Swindon police on 101.