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.
To mark eight extraordinary years of progress, in which 88 Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) schemes have been launched across the UK, CAP has published a report, Progress through Partnerships: Creating Safer Communities.
It shows outstanding positive impacts on crime, anti-social behaviour, litter, residents’ feelings of safety and underage/proxy purchasing – changes that improve the quality of life for the public and reduce harm to young people.
“I welcome the reduction in alcohol related youth anti-social behaviour. The CAP model has promoted effective and innovative partnership work between enforcement agencies, businesses and local community groups and has clearly played an important part in this. I would encourage every area with evidence of alcohol related youth crime to give serious consideration to setting up a CAP to reduce crime and build safer neighbourhoods.”
Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Policing
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.