Local shops, like Tesco Express, were asked by the police to voluntarily restrict sales of high-caffeine drinks on Friday nights, in a bid to reduce anti-social behaviour amongst under-16s.
The request was brought to light by PC Paula’s police report to the Town Council on the 4th April 2011 (see below).
B&DBC Councillor Keith Watts told this site that the real issue is with products like ‘Kick’ that is sold by Tesco, which operates the local Tesco Express opposite the Silk Mill.
The label for ‘Kick – Stimulation Drink’ says it contains five, 200ml servings (in other words, 1L) and has this warning: “Caution: High caffeine content…Not suitable for diabetics, children or people sensitive to caffeine.”
The 1L bottle contains 300mg of caffeine.
Cllr Watts queried Tesco back in December 2005 on this issue. The position of Tesco at the time appeared to be that there is no legal restriction on the sale of energy drinks and that they must abide by the Convention on the Rights of Children.
This latest controversy about high-caffeine drinks’ effect on children echos the same issues raised about the caffeine content of “Mountain Dew” and other colas in the early 1980s in North America (see NY Times article HERE).
Update – here is the section of the police’s report on this topic:
You Said – Engage with the young people and tackling under age drinking and anti Social Behaviour in Whitchurch
There has been nine reports of anti-social behaviour in March that relate to juvenile nuisance the same as in February. These have been in the locations of Winchester Street where large groups were gathering, Winchester Road, The Knowlings, Newbury Street, Church Street, The Weir and London Street.
PCSO Wendy EAGLESTONE continues to patrol these areas regularly in association with the Community Safety Patrol officers especially on a Friday evening.
In February`s report we stated that there had been a large influx of youths in Whitchurch who had been making a nuisance of themselves in the areas mentioned above especially on a Friday evening. In March we have had a meeting with The Whitchurch Youth Project Committee who have agreed that all parents if they wish to do so can check the Youth Club records to see if their children are attending. A full assembly was held at Testbourne School advising youths of their expected behaviour and a letter was sent to all parents advising them what was discussed at the assembly and that if youths make a nuisance of themselves on the street then we will be contacting parents to come and collect them. For those that continue to be a nuisance we will be looking at introducing Anti Social Behaviour Contracts.
We have also asked shops in Whitchurch not to sell ‘Kick, Red Bull or any other stimulation drinks to youths under 16 on Friday evenings. This has been brought to our attention by the Youth Project and the fact that it increases the youths hyperactivity.
We are hoping that by us all working together, the Police, Parents, Testbourne School, the Youth Project and local shops that we can put a stop to nuisance behaviour.