14/08/2014 16:54 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Police Seize Alcohol From Eight-Year-Old Binge Drinker

three teenagers drinking beer at a park

In a depressing sign of the times, children as young as eight have had alcohol confiscated from them by police during a crackdown on underage binge drinking.

Officers in Burnley, Lancashire, stopped 2,000 youngsters in three months and seized 280 litres of alcohol.

The most shocking example was on an eight-year-old boy, who was handed a 'protecting vulnerable people' referral.

Others were drinking 'heavily' in local parks. Lucie Russell, director of charity Young Minds said drinking would make children 'more vulnerable' and prone to 'risky and dangerous behaviour'.

She added: "These are very worrying figures because children and adolescents brains develop at a faster rate than any other time in life, and so binge drinking at a young age could have an adverse effect on brain development."

The operation was launched after 184 children from the town and nearby Blackburn were admitted to hospital with alcohol-related problems in three years.

Burnley councillor Tony Harrison said: "The amount of alcohol seized from children in this operation is worrying and makes you wonder where they get it from."