9 Jan 2014

Adults gave alcohol to 9-year-old, say police

6:04 am on 9 January 2014

Hamilton police say they believe adults supplied alcohol to a nine-year-old boy who has appeared drunk at a skate park in a video posted on the internet.

Police and welfare agency Child, Youth and Family (CYF) are investigating.

A screen grab of the boy from the video footage.

A screen grab of the boy from the video footage. Photo: YOUTUBE

The video was filmed at Fairfield Park on Tuesday and posted on YouTube. It has attracted tens of thousands of views and hundreds of comments.

In it, the boy is stumbling and on a push scooter. He says he drank 18 pre-mix bourbon drinks and asks the man filming it not to show his video to police.

Hamilton city area commander Inspector Greg Nicholls said on Wednesday an inquiry has begun and the boy's mother is upset.

"She is extremely distraught and is very appreciative of the assistance that has been provided by CYFS in terms of the care and protection and advice, and also through police and the investigation of this matter and the sanctioning of the behaviour of the adults who we believe have supplied the liquor to the nine-year-old boy."

Mr Nicholls said he is appalled by the situation and charges could range from a warning through to court action.

Police are working with search engine Google to try get the video taken down. Mr Nicholls said he is concerned that the boy is being revictimised by it remaining online.

The boy is not in Child, Youth and Family's care and has no links to the welfare agency.

Child, Youth and Family described the video as shocking on Wednesday. General manager Nova Salomen said giving children alcohol or any other drug is illegal, irresponsible and highly dangerous.

The man who filmed the video said he posted it on the site to highlight the problem of youth drinking. Many of the online comments commend him for stepping in and trying to take the alcohol away from the child.