Post-codes where there are vastly more off-licence premises than there are available school places have been linked to the number of underage drinkers admitted to hospital for alcohol-related problems, a study suggests.
The research for campaign group Alcohol Concern found what they termed as an 'inextricable link' between the level of alcohol consumption in underage drinkers with their ability to find a school that didn't require them to bring additional provisions for their journey than the traditional packed lunch.
Research leader, Malcolm Trift, believes the work undertaken by his team had produced incontrovertible evidence to support the assertion.
He told us, 'It didn't take much digging about for us to find that if you bring up children in a locality where there are many more off-licences than there are school places on offer, the unschooled among them will, in a very short time, drink themselves into a state of full blown alcoholism.'
'Frequently, the area's where hospitals were most badly affected by the large volume of children turning up at casualty barely able to utter their own name, were full of off-licences and supermarkets slashing the prices of drink, almost giving the stuff away.'
Education Minister said he was in two minds about the outcome of the research, particularly when relating to children being brought up by a single-parent.
'Can you imagine if one of these alcoholic little so and so's had found himself a place at school and one day had enough of taking a 60 mile round trip on public transport, decided to take a car?'
'That would be a simply crazy situation.'