A multi-agency initiative to tackle underage drinking and associated problems was launched in Skegness in November and MP Matt Warman joined police and other stakeholders at the first meeting of the town’s Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP).
The first CAP was set up in St Neots in 2007 and there are now 150 across the UK, bringing together local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers. They aim to reduce the sale of alcohol to young people, advise them on the dangers of drinking and provide diversionary alcohol-free activities through youth services and local charities.
Each scheme is evidenced based and offers a tailored response to locally determined issues through education, enforcement, communication, activity and evaluation.
Community Beat Sergeant Kate Odlin explained: “Boston’s CAP has been running successfully for about a year and we are keen to replicate that success in Skegness. We have underage drinkers here, as everywhere does, and part of our preparation for launching a CAP was to survey young people about their drinking habits. They were very candid in their responses and that gives us a valuable insight into the relationship that young people have with alcohol.
"We know that habits such as binge-drinking can be seriously damaging to their health and development and impact negatively on the wider community.We have drawn up an action plan, which includes a strong focus on education and will involve us going into schools with our action pack.
"Evaluating progress and success is very important and there will be monthly meetings and a full review after about a year".
Alan Simpson CAP Regional Advisor said: “We are not saying that Skegness has a significant problem but, rather, that there has been an analysed concern about underage drinking . CAPs are about joined-up thinking and they pull everyone together with a shared focus and shared objectives.
"I am excited to work with Kate and the other partners to see how we can support young people in Skegness and lead them to a more healthy position regarding their choices about alcohol. In turn, this will have obvious benefits to Skegness’s visitors and wider community “.
There are no costs to police or the local authority as CAP schemes are funded by the alcohol industry as part of their social responsibility efforts.
Pictured left to right: Chief Insp Colin Haigh, Alan Simpson, Matt Warman MP, Sgt Kate Odlin