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Hamilton Police appalled at child given alcohol

Appalling is how Hamilton Police describe adults giving child alcohol

Hamilton Police who dealt with an incident of a young child being given a large amount of alcohol in a park yesterday say they were appalled at the time and are even more concerned having seen footage of the boy posted on social media today.

City Area Commander, Inspector Greg Nicholls, said Police attended the Fairfield Park Skate-bowl on Clarkin Rd about 6pm after calls from a concerned person to the 111 call centre.

"An officer arrived but the parties concerned had left. The nine-year-old boy was located a short time later at his nearby home where Police spoke to his understandably upset mother.

"The mother, who with her son met with me this afternoon, told the attending officer she thought the boy was across the road playing and she wasn't aware he was elsewhere, being put at risk by persons providing him alcohol."

Mr Nicholls said the only way he could describe the behaviour of the persons who supplied the nine-year-old boy with alcohol was to state it was appalling.

"The boy told me he had consumed eight cans of 7% premix bourbon and cola and two liqueur shots.

"Not only is giving a child alcohol illegal it has the potential to be significantly harmful to his health and the people concerned should be aware that the new alcohol legislation introduced late last year gives the Police a raft of sanctions from issuing a warning through to an infringement notice and taking court action.

Mr Nicholls said what ever action will be taken will be something taken under consideration but as of last night the primary concern for the Police and partner agencies was the care and protection of the young boy.

"To that end Police are working very closely with Child Youth and Family to ensure the boy gets the appropriate care he needs and the family are given whatever support is required.

"In relation to the posting of the young boy's image on You Tube, while Police are grateful the cameraman rang 111 we feel the boys interests would have been better served had he provided the footage to Police or CYFS rather than further victimise the child by publishing the footage."

Mr Nicholls said Police are currently seeking the cooperation of Google to assist us in removing the clip from You Tube.

While the matter is of grave concern to all the agencies involved, Mr Nicholls said there was one small positive that showed Hamilton is a caring and concerned community.

"As soon as the footage was uploaded to You Tube several calls were placed by concerned members of the public to the 111 call centre and a number of other people contacted the local Police Station to make sure we are aware of the situation which we are grateful for."

End

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