A high-profile campaign aimed at curbing under-age drinking is being resurrected by Police Scotland in North Ayrshire.

The national bottle-marking scheme was established in 2009 and has fallen by the wayside.

Police constables John Miller and Brian McArthur revealed the move at a meeting of Irvine Community Council earlier this week.

The venture involves shops selling alcohol being given a unique four-number code to mark bottles like Buckfast, alcopops and high-energy drinks as those are the most popular drinks among under-age youths so they can be traced back to the suppliers.

PC McArthur said: “We are trying to get the shops back on board with the bottle-marking scheme.

"We get the shops to mark the bottles with a unique reference no with an ultra violet pen, so if we do find kids in the area, we can check the bottle and see where they are buying it from. 

“If there is disorder in an area and bottles are left lying around, we can look at them and see where they were from. Bottle-marking is not for the likes of cans of beer but more alcopops.”

PC Miller added:  “Last year Eglinton Park was hit particularly badly.

"At the swinging bridge, they were drinking and leaving bottles everywhere for staff to clean up the next day. Some of the bottles were smashed, so we couldn’t detect them. 

“The onus is on shopkeepers to mark the bottles to show they are responsible.”

Police report shops who don’t comply to the licensing board and that means they have a negative when they go for their review because they have not done what was asked of them.