BOOZING youngsters on a Shirley estate will find themselves in trouble as the area has been pronounced an alcohol-free zone.
Residents and councillors had joined forces to find a solution after a series of problems in Baxter's Green involving troublesome youths.
On one occasion last May, a gang of teenagers had held a drink-fuelled party in a field behind Baxters Green. The following morning the land was found littered with beer cans.
In the months that followed a petition was drawn up, with over 270 locals calling for the Alcohol Restricted Zone to be introduced. Solihull Council agreed to proposals and the scheme came into force last month.
Graham Dawson, who has lived in the area for 30 years, said: "It's already making a real difference and everyone feels better for it. With the police and residents involved there will be hundreds of people keeping an eye on the situation.
"You will always get a couple of hardnuts who don't take any notice but this is just the thing we need to crack them."
Inside the zone, people who refuse, when asked, to surrender alcohol to police officers are also breaking the law. Councillor Tim Hodgson (Lib Dem, Shirley South) is confident that this will help to cut problems with under-age drinking.
"I'm delighted that the zone has come into force," he told the Solihull News. "This has been a joint effort between councillors, residents and the Woodlands Residents' Action Group (WRAG)."
Lorely Burt, MP for Solihull, is also optimistic about the difference the zone will make. She told the Solihull Times it would be a "deterrent" to people who make a nuisance of themselves.