DAVE Watts MP has called for tougher measures against under age drinkers and their parents – and reckons under 18s should be taken into temporary care if found under the influence of alcohol.

The MP for St Helens North called for stringent new measures to tackle under age boozing following a meeting with Chris Armitt, the town’s new chief superintendent, last week.

Watts told the Star that too many parents turn a blind eye to their children’s drinking and that children as young as 14 were being allowed to stay out late and drink alcohol in parks and residential areas.

He has called on St Helens Council to join forces with the police to introduce a ‘stay safe’ scheme, in which drunken children are taken into care before being collected by their parents from a safe central location.

The child and the parents would then face questioning about how the youngster got hold of the booze.

Watts reported that similar schemes had reduced under aged drinking and anti social behaviour in communities up and down the country.

He argued that the ploy would hold parents more responsible for the actions of their children, help protect vulnerable kids and help police identify off licences which are selling booze to under 18s.