South Scotland

Scottish Borders underage drinking figures show decrease

Man drinking beer Image copyright PA
Image caption The number of under 15s admitting drinking regularly has dropped significantly in the Borders

A report by the alcohol and drugs partnership for the Scottish Borders has shown a fall in the number of underage drinkers in the region.

In 2006, some 40% of under 15s admitted drinking regularly but that dropped to 17% by 2010.

However, in 2012/13 there were 463 incidents of young people being found drunk or having alcohol confiscated.

In the same period alcohol was a factor in 31 under 15s attending accident and emergency units.

The figures were presented to Scottish Borders Council's education committee.

Selkirkshire councillor Michelle Ballantyne said attitudes were an important factor in the issue.

"I think parents don't always realise that even just by drinking around their children they are sending a message out," she said.

"So if you come into the house after a hard day and say: 'I need a drink I've had a really hard day' - your child is hearing that and hearing that when you have a hard day, you drink."

She said that could create a behavioural link for children.

"Sometimes, it is the really simple things that we don't think about," she added.

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