Officers with the Sioux Lookout OPP are investigating the ongoing issue of ‘bootlegging’ alcohol to youth under the age of 19.

Police say they will be focusing their patrol efforts to address the illegal sale of alcohol in the Sioux Lookout area and will be investigating the sources of illegally obtained liquor in the community.

“The OPP is aware that bootlegging has impacted the Municipality of Sioux Lookout for many years, with consequences of widespread alcohol abuse, violent crime and other avoidable tragedies,” wrote the OPP, in a prepared statement.

“This trend appears to be impacting future generations, with officers more and more frequently encountering youth under 19 years old whose health and safety are placed in significant danger after having accessed liquor through illegal means.”

Under Ontario’s Liquor License and Control Act, those responsible for unlawfully selling liquor are punishable by mandatory court appearances, heavy fines and possible imprisonment.

In the province, the sale of liquor is restricted to licensed facilities that are regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, following rules outlined in the act. Liquor sales outside of these regulated channels are highly illegal.

Anyone with any information about the illegal sale of alcohol in the Municipality of Sioux Lookout are asked to contact the OPP at 1-807-737-2020 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).