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Drinking during pregnancy could damage child's development

As part of national Alcohol Awareness Week, local people in Stockton-on-Tees have been highlighting the dangers of drinking during pregnancy with a 'Pregnant Pause'.

The Pregnant Pause, which represented the nine months that a woman is pregnant for, aimed to educate more people about a disorder which affects thousands of babies every year, is completely preventable and yet is still not widely known about.

Foetal Alcohol Specrum disorder is what can happen if a mother drinks during pregnancy and can affect the development of a child's organs and facial features.

Children who have Foetal Alcohol Specrum disorder suffer from:

  • Mouth, teeth and facial problems
  • Weak immune system
  • Epilepsy
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney and heart defects
  • Cerebral palsy and other muscular problems
  • Height and weight issues
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Hearing and ear problems

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Shop shut for selling alcohol to children

An off-licence in North Yorkshire is to be temporarily closed down by trading standards officers for 'persistently' selling alcohol to children.

A two-day closure on the Wine Box in Stokesley was imposed by North Yorkshire County Council after it was found that alcohol was sold illegally twice in a two month period.

Recent changes to the Licensing Act mean trading standards officers and police now have the power to stop the sale of alcohol for up 14 days.

The licence holder at Wine Box, Claire Foster, has accepted the notice as an alternative to being prosecuted.

The closure notice is designed to be a quick and effective response in the circumstances where licensed premises have persistently sold alcohol to underage children.

Measures to stop children obtaining alcohol are crucial to prevent addiction from a young age with all the consequent health, social and emotional issues.

Our trading standards officers have now worked with this licensee to put measures in place to stop any further underage sales from these premises.

Although a closure notice may seem draconian, the alternative is prosecution, thereby risking a fine of up to £20,000.

– Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for Trading Standards

Alcohol costs Ambulance service £9m in call outs

Injury and incidents related to alcohol is costing the economy £9 million in Ambulance call-outs.

The figures, from a collaborative study between Newcastle University, the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and the North East Alcohol Office (BALANCE), showed that a total of 31,000 call outs last year were alcohol related - equating to one in ten.

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Police crackdown on anti-social behaviour

Police say they are clamping down on anti-social behaviour in Blyth.

It comes after officers received a number of calls regarding youths drinking alcohol and acting disorderly at Ridley Park last weekend.

As a result, two young men were arrested, and police seized a number of alcoholic drinks.

Some of the youths were also taken home to their parents and advised of their behaviour.

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**Acting Sergeant Chrissie Skillen said:

"Over the coming weeks there will be increased patrols in the area and we will be working with partner agencies, such as Holmes for Northumberland, Social Service, Trading Standards and Northumberland County Council to tackle any further problems.** **

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**"I would also like to take this opportunity to remind parents of their obligations and responsibilities to know the whereabouts of their children."

– Acting Sergeant Chrissie Skillen, Northumbria Police
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