The police are set to use unprecedented powers under the Licensing Act to launch a blanket ban on the sale of alcohol in five areas in Devon with the aim of stopping an illegal Facebook party. The officers have been informed that around 10,000 people are set to unite at one of five beaches, in Torquay, Paignton, Preston, Goodrington or Broadsands, for a mass party at the weekend, which has been organised through the social networking site. As soon as the location is announced, local police plan to ban pubs, bars and retailers in the area from selling alcohol until the party is cleared. Superintendent Chris Singer said: “The event is likely to cause disruption and difficulty for our community. The supply and consumption of alcohol would add to those difficulties. “It may therefore be necessary for me to apply to magistrates to instigate the provisions of Section 160 of the Licensing Act 2003. “I fully understand making the order would be an unprecedented step, and one which would not be taken unless fully justified.”