POLICE smashed a party organised on Facebook that saw alcohol seized from 50 schoolchildren who gathered for a boisterous booze-up.
The teenagers were spotted on the sand dunes in Seaton Carew celebrating the end of their five years at school by getting drunk with vodka, alcopops, cider and lager.
Officers who swooped on the alcohol-fuelled bash say they are now trawling through social networking websites to make sure no more raucous pupil parties are being organised in the town.
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They have warned youngsters they will not tolerate drunken open-air parties and are urging parents to make sure they know what their children are up to.
Police say underage drinking can be dangerous and can also lead to youngsters getting a criminal record if they are involved in criminal damage or yobbish behaviour.
Their worries come as Year 11 students get set to leave secondary schools across the town, with many breaking-up early to revise for their GCSE exams.
The drinks at what police have called “a pre-arranged unofficial school leavers’ party” on Friday, May 11, were seized by Hartlepool neighbourhood police officers.
Some of the children also had their details taken and officers say they are also working with schools to clamp down on drink-fueled bother.
Sergeant Mark Haworth, of Hartlepool Police, said: “We are working with secondary schools across the town and are monitoring social network sites as well as using other intelligence to try to prevent this happening again.
“Youngsters can be assured we will clamp down heavily on such gatherings and will remove any alcohol we find where the person is underage.”
Police community support officers (PCSOs) and police officers are also joining forces with the licensing department of Hartlepool Borough Council to tell parents to keep an eye on children who are due to leave school.
Officers are also liaising with headteachers as to how they can help stop any repeats of the drinking.
Sgt Haworth added: “We take children and young people’s personal safety extremely seriously and there is no doubt that their safety can be compromised if they are in large groups where alcohol is being consumed.
“Equally seriously is the risk of them becoming involved in anti-social behaviour or crime, and I would urge parents, especially as many of the town’s youngsters come to the end of their school careers, to check what their children are doing and what they are getting up to.”