Education is key to raising awareness about the law relating to young people and alcohol, and the impact of underage alcohol consumption on health and society.
CAP aims to educate and inform three target groups: retailers/licensees, young people and adults.
Retailers and licensees are generally aware that is against the law to sell alcohol to someone who is under 18 but it is sometimes difficult for them to know when someone is under 18. Information and education are provided to off- and on-licensed premises in the CAP area to help avoid incidents of underage sales. Additionally training materials are provided to premises for training new staff and "point of sale" materials are provided to educate the public. Premises are encouraged to use the Challenge 25 scheme so that anyone over 18 but looking under 25 is encouraged to carry acceptable ID such as PASS cards. Mentoring by larger RASG supermarket retailers in the area enables smaller independent retailers and licensees to benefit from their established in-house training regimes.
All young people should receive education about alcohol in school via the PSHE curriculum. However the evidence is that this is often a neglected and/or poorly taught subject. Some youngsters, especially those who are excluded from school, miss out on alcohol education. CAP encourages greater emphasis on alcohol education both in school and in other settings e.g. youth clubs.
National studies have shown consistently that only a small proportion of under 18s buy alcohol themselves and that it is mainly adults – usually parents, but also older friends or strangers – who purchase alcohol on behalf of young people. CAP encourages communications targeted at parents and other adults about the importance of not giving children and younger teenagers alcohol and highlighting the offence of proxy purchase (buying alcohol for or on behalf of an under 18).
The work of the East Edinburgh CAP will undoubtedly play a huge part in tackling underage drinking and anti-social behaviour and I am delighted that such a wide range of partners are involved.
Former Scottish Justice Secretary