Children found drunk in Swindon

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Children as young as 12 were found drunk on the streets of Swindon during a police operation on Friday night.

About 70 officers were out in the town identifying and picking up youngsters they felt were vulnerable and at risk.

They were taken to a centre and met by social services staff who gave support or contacted their parents or carers.

The Stay Safe initiative was tested earlier in part of the town and was found to cut trouble, police said.

'Hang out'

Police community support officer (PCSO) Mark Cook said: "We're not out to spoil their fun, but what we are doing is making sure they're safe and making them realise that they have a responsibility to look after themselves and each other."

PCSO Harriet Matthew said: "We've been checking that [the youngsters] are OK, that they're not doing something they shouldn't be, i.e drinking or smoking if they're quite young.

"We're mindful of the fact there's not a lot for the kids to do and they like to hang out with their friends.

"We try to make sure we get a balance between them not causing hassle and distress to other people and yet still being able to have their own space and hang out."

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