Police are hoping to magic away the problem of underage drinking with a new alcohol-detecting ‘wand’.

The ‘Alcoblow’ wands are designed to be waved in the faces of young people in the street to see if they have been drinking.

The wand, which cost about £300 each, was piloted by police in the Wealden district for three months and proved such a success that four more have now been bought by the Safer Wealden Partnership.

Sergeant Howard Neville, who is based in Hailsham, said: “It’s proved particularly helpful in one area and that’s underage drinking.

“We have used it with teenagers perceived to be drinking in the streets to see whether they are or not and we have also used it with young people at youth events or under-age club nights, to reassure parents.”

The long yellow plastic wand is made by breathalyser specialists Lion Laboratories Ltd and has a simple traffic light system.

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