Police officers will get new powers to confiscate alcohol from children caught drinking under plans to be announced by the Home Secretary later this week.
Jacqui Smith will use a major speech on Wednesday to insist that under 18s should be banned from drinking in the streets under new laws to make it illegal for youngsters to drink in public as part of a crackdown on anti-social behaviour.
Ms Smith will insist that police will get widened powers to seize alcohol; at present they can only confiscate drinks from troublemakers.
The Home Secretary said: "If children are caught drinking in public, they will have those drinks confiscated.
"I fully support communities' efforts to stamp out underage alcohol-fuelled disorder and the harm it causes. As well as being tough on retailers that break the law and stopping kids drinking in public we are making sure that kids and parents both have enough information to make sensible choices about alcohol. "
Details of the crackdown emerged as the Government prepared to published Sir Ronnie Flanagan's review of policing. The report, to be published on Thursday, is expected to include proposals to cut form-filling when officers stop and question people and give local commanders more discretion to order stop-and-search operations.
Yesterday David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, unveiled Tory plans to return some powers to the police to decide whether to charge suspects for offences, and not the Crown Prosecution Service alone. A report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research today, ahead of Sir Ronnie's review, recommends a wholesale overhaul of police staffing.