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Telford street pastors' warning over under-18s club night

Telford | News | Published:

A 14-year-old girl was admitted to hospital with suspected alcohol poisoning and others were left with no way of getting home following an under-18s club night in Telford, members of a voluntary group claimed today.

Telford Street Pastors, a Christian group that patrols the town, today raised concerns about the welfare of young people.

They said they were shocked by the behaviour of many teenagers who had attended the Reloaded event at Club Crush in Telford Town Centre.

Many had appeared to consume large amounts of drink before they arrived at the club, which operated a strict alcohol-free bar.

Keith Osmund-Smith, from Telford Street Pastors, said: "Even we were shocked by the events of Saturday night."

The group say events should finish earlier in order to give those attending more time to get home.

And they said parents must also take responsibility to ensure their children are safe.

Mr Osmund-Smith said he was shocked at scenes of drunkeness he saw and said many teenagers were congregating past midnight waiting for taxis.

He said parents should be aware their children were being put in a vulnerable position, adding: "I would have hoped more parents would have taken the responsibility to pick up their children.

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"I do not think parents are as willing to turn up to get them at midnight as they would be at 10pm and are relying too much on taxis. We would encourage parents to collect them at a pre-arranged time and place."

The under-18s night opened at 8pm and at 8.07am an ambulance was called to a 14-year-old girl with suspected alcohol poisoning.

The event was due to finish at 11.40pm, and many children calling for taxis then were told they would have to wait until after midnight.

Costas Vanezi, who owns Club Crush but does not promote the event, said: "The event is run by an outside promoter. Other places like the cinema are open later and have 16 and 17-year-olds at them. If there were any young people who didn't have a taxi or parents to collect them it was a minority and could have happened anywhere.

"Some kids turned up drunk and they were kept in a designated area until their parents or someone came to collect them."

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