Children as young as 12 in various states of drunkenness were piled into police cars and taken home to their parents in Greymouth last night and early this morning.
Police said they were "extremely concerned" at the number of teenagers, especially girls, wandering the streets drunk late at night, saying the young girls were at risk of being preyed upon by groups of older drunken men, who were also roaming the streets.
The night of drunkenness began about 5.30pm, when police were alerted to a group of six teenagers drinking alcohol and behaving in a disorderly fashion at the skatepark.
A large quantity of cans of alcohol was confiscated and a 16-year-old boy from Stillwater and a 16-year-old boy from Marsden were arrested and charged with breaching the liquor ban.
At 11.30pm officers were called to an out-of-control noisy party on Karoro beach, only to find a number of young people in various states of intoxication, "many of them incapable of keeping themselves safe".
Two girls, both 14 from Cobden, and a 16-year-old boy from Greymouth were taken home to their parents.
Then at 1.15am today police came across four Cobden girls aged 12 and 13 wandering along Tainui St. Asked why they were not tucked up safely in bed, they told police they were walking home after a night out 'spotlighting'.
At the same time there were several groups of drunken men nearby in Tainui St.
Police took the girls home to their parents, with a word of advice about the risks of wandering the streets early in the morning.
Police said parents should know where their children are at all times of the day and night.
- The Greymouth Star