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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 September, 2003, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
Seaside Britain rivals Faliraki
The Greek resort of Faliraki has become synonymous with inebriated young Britons having a wild time on holiday.

But is a typical UK night out just like Faliraki without the suntans and Ouzo? BBC News Online's Hannah Bayman and Anna Lindsay went to Bournemouth to find out.

Teenage revellers in Bournemouth
Teenage friends: Just back from Faliraki and out in Bournemouth
"Go down to the beach and you'll see people having sex after they get chucked out of the clubs," says a friend who lives locally.

So we pick our way down the bar-lined main street, young men wolf-whistling as we dodge a drinker peeing against a wall, a pile of blood-spattered napkins and an ambulance called to the aid of three female drinkers sprawled on the pavement.

Sure enough, the sea front is jumping, with parties of teenagers swigging from wine bottles and couples snogging on the sand.

More summer fun in Faliraki, the Greek resort notorious for Britons behaving badly?

No, this is the Dorset town of Bournemouth on a Friday night.

Meanwhile, in the biggest seafront club, drinkers are downing cocktails literally by the bucketful.

"It's only a few quid for a Bucket of Joy - mine's a triple vodka and lemonade - wicked!" says one.
Girls wait for ambulance
Local police are urging one woman in every hen party to stay sober

But the lad next to us needs some practice handling his drink - mid-song he sways and throws up right in the middle of the dance floor.

In the queue for another club are three 18-year-old girlfriends fresh from a holiday in Faliraki. Greece is better, but Bournemouth still rocks, they say.

Some of the other girls out on the razzle tonight look barely old enough to go on holiday alone.

"It makes me feel really old, the age of them in here," one bouncer tells us.

"We get loads of underage kids trying to get in and we turn them away - but they all just pile into another bar."

The Botanic Inn

Over on the sofas, a young couple grapple with each other - the girl repeatedly stopping the boy from pulling her top off.

Nearby, a group of firemen in matching T-shirts, and a stag party - also in matching T-shirts except the groom in a dress and wig - knock back more booze.

Outside, two car-loads of police arrive to break up a group fist fight.

A man and his girlfriend are pulled away as they scream racist abuse at the bouncer.

"People have started comparing this place with Faliraki and you can see why," says a fellow bouncer.

Reporter shares a drink with a clubber
Not all drinkers were handling cheap booze by the bucket quite as well

And here, as in Faliraki, police are fed up with the wilder excesses of some revellers.

The chief superintendent of Bournemouth has warned that "mindless idiots" are ruling the town at night, blaming some bars for encouraging customers to drink until they drop.

Bob Boulton told BBC News Online: "There is a binge drinking culture at certain premises, with promotions where customers get all the alcohol they can throw down their throats for the price of a ticket."

Mr Boulton recently warned the owners of three bars after ugly scenes at closing time and is leading a scheme enforcing a minimum drinks price.

He added: "Women drinkers on hen nights are particularly vulnerable - we advise parties to nominate one woman to stay sober and look out for the group."





LINKS TO MORE HAMPSHIRE/DORSET STORIES


 

SEE ALSO:
UK officers meet Faliraki police
31 Aug 03  |  Lancashire
Funeral for Faliraki victim
29 Aug 03  |  Northamptonshire
Life in Faliraki
19 Aug 03  |  Magazine


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