BOOZED-up youngsters from Barrhead, Neilston and surrounding areas are putting their lives at risk by holding drinking parties in a dangerous quarry, writes David Carnduff.

Teenage tipplers as young as 14 from throughout East Renfrewshire are congregating at weekends in Braidbar Quarry in Giffnock, where safety experts say a thin layer of unstable ground covers a large underground pool.

Cops fear for the safety of the youngsters and have issued a warning about the dangers of entering the quarry. 

They have visited schools along with fire and rescue officers to tell parents and pupils the quarry should not be entered.

The Barrhead News reported last December that investigations had raised serious safety concerns at the site, where there have been estimates of up to 800,000 cubic metres of water beneath the surface.

The police move is part of a wider crackdown on youth disorder, made worse by adults who illegally buy booze for youngsters.

Constable Julie-Anne Mathieson, based at Giffnock, told the Barrhead News: “Youth disorder is an issue for us nearly every weekend and the quarry is included in our patrols.

“There is a sinkhole in there and emergency services have been instructed not to go in because we would be putting our lives in danger as the ground could collapse.”

PC Mathieson said the youngsters are getting in via a gap in the fence at neighbouring Huntly Park and through a fence they damaged themselves at Braidpark Drive.

She added the partying had led to numerous issues such as littering, unruly behaviour and drunkenness.

As part of the “You’re Asking For It” campaign aimed at tackling underage drinking, Constable Mathieson has issued a warning to adults buying drink for youngsters.

Any adult caught purchasing drink for anyone under 18 risks a fine of up to £5,000, up to three months in prison, or both.

PC Mathieson said underage drinking and anti-social behaviour is a significant issue across the region.

She added: “A key focus of our work has been engagement with local licensed premises to ensure they know how to look out for proxy purchasing.”

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “Work to install suitable fencing around Braidbar Quarry, in order to prevent entry, is ongoing. 

“It is expected to be completed by the end of October.”