An essential part of CAP involves enforcement of the laws relating to young people and alcohol including purchase of alcohol by under 18s, sale to under 18s, drinking by under 18s in public places and proxy or agent purchase.
Police and Trading Standards make regular patrols of the pilot area looking for under 18s drinking in public. Where such persons are found, alcohol is confiscated and parents informed. Where the young person is intoxicated, the guardian is called to collect the child or he/she will be taken home in a police vehicle. Cases are reported to Social Services where necessary. On patrol evenings, retailers and enforcement agencies collaborate to identify instances of young people attempting to buy alcohol so that the police and trading standards can attend and deal with them. A dedicated mobile phone number is normally made available to retailers on enforcement evenings.
It is an offence to purchase alcohol on behalf of someone who is under 18, an offence known as “proxy purchase” or “agent purchase” in Scotland. Those who commit the offence of proxy purchase are liable to a £90 Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND). Retailers are encouraged to display notices warning against proxy purchase and are encouraged to inform police and/or Trading Standards of any instances of adults who may be buying alcohol on behalf of young people.
Retailers and licensees are provided with support and materials to help avoid making underage sales. Where there is suspicion that underage sales are taking place at a particular premises, the retailer/licensee will be invited to review systems and personnel training.
"Community Alcohol Partnerships tackle underage drinking in local communities through co-operation between alcohol retailers/licensees and local stakeholders. By providing advice, guidance and resources CAP support communities in developing their own capacity to deliver a co-ordinated, localised response to underage alcohol misuse."
“The Reading Community Alcohol Partnership is clearly very active around the town and it’s good to hear that its multi-agency approach is aiming to tackle underage drinking through direct engagement with young people, enforcing the law with regard to underage consumption and proxy purchasing, and maintaining a constructive dialogue with businesses and retailers.”
Rob Wilson MP
CAP encourages local partnership working to tackle underage alcohol misuse and associated anti social behaviour. CAP is unique in that it recognises that retail is part of the solution and has been shown to be more effective than enforcement alone.
If there is a CAP scheme in your area, we can put you in touch with the local project co-ordinator, who will explain how to get involved. If there is no CAP in your area but you would like to talk about setting up a CAP, the CAP team will be able to give help and advice.