SPECIAL police squads will be on the streets next month to ensure festive revellers stay within the law.

The uniformed licensing patrols will be active on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights throughout December and into the New Year to clamp down on any public disorder.

Plain clothed officers will also be making sure that time will be swiftly called on any under-age drinking.

Operations manager Superintendent Dave Horner, said: "We are not setting out to be Scrooge and spoil anyone's fun. We want to see people in the district enjoying themselves at this time of year, but that does not give would-be troublemakers the right to run wild.

"We will not be turning a blind eye to any unlawful activities. We will be visiting pubs and clubs to see what is going on. The presence of a uniformed officer can have a sobering effect.

"Our aim is to support publicans and licensees. They can have a difficult job at times. A lot more people are out and about at this time of year and a lot more drink is consumed. We want revellers to know now that we will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour. People can have fun and stay within the law."

As well as the patrols, police will also use video cameras at trouble spots, particularly those where there is under-age drinking. Youngsters caught out will be taken home to their parents and action will be taken against licensees.

Supt Horner said: "Our aim is to ensure all licensed premises remain safe and enjoyable places where people can relax and enjoy themselves. We want everyone to have a merry Christmas."