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They have considered Asbos, curfews and Taser stun guns in the war on binge-drinking youths on Friday and Saturday nights. Now police are developing a new weapon. Drinkers will be encouraged to play with children's bubble blowers instead of picking fights, in a scheme to start next month in Bolton. Police will hand out the free toys as young people pour out of pubs and clubs in typically boisterous mood.
The blue and orange bubble blowers, which double as pens, will be handed out by police community support officers and town centre ambassadors on Saturday nights. Elaine Sherrington, a Bolton councillor, said: 'They are a great idea to keep things light-hearted. Revellers will have something fun to focus on as they leave pubs and clubs. The run-up to the festive period should be full of fun, not problems with drunkenness or rowdy behaviour.'
The plan has been drawn up by the Be Safe Partnership, involving Bolton council, the police and fire service. The council could not say how much the bubble blowers have cost, but they usually retail for £1-£4.