Welcome to Community Alcohol Partnerships

CAP evaluations have consistently shown a positive effect on underage alcohol misuse and anti-social behaviour. A number of CAP schemes have been subject to independent academic evaluations and in each case have evaluated positively.  Many CAP schemes have won awards for innovative partnership work and for the positive impact they have had on local communities.

The very first CAP scheme was set up in in the small market town of St Neots in Cambridgeshire in 2007. The St Neots CAP contained all the ingredients of the now familiar CAP model, bringing together retailers, police, trading standards, schools, and alcohol services working in partnership to tackle very specific indicators relating to underage drinking a clearly defined geographical area using a mix of education and enforcement. The St Neots pilot CAP delivered significant improvements:

  • anti-social behaviour decreased by 42%;
  • Under 18s found in possession of alcohol decreased by over 90%; and
  • the volume of alcohol litter was reduced by 92%.

A second CAP was piloted in Kent in 2009 at the instigation of the Kent Police, who provided additional resource for an independent evaluation by the University of Kent. This was a larger scheme, with three centres of operation following the now familiar CAP fomula and with additional resource for diversionary activity for young people. Again the evaluation was positive and this paved the way for the development of more CAPs.

Headline findings from evaluations for other CAPs include:

    • 30% decrease in anti-social behavior (Dearne and Penistone, South Yorkshire 2011)
    • 50% decrease in youth nuisance, youth diversionary referrals decreased from 114 to 40 (Derry, 2011)
    • 50% decrease in youth alcohol related accidents requiring the attention of the London Ambulance Service (Islington, 2011)

To date 92 CAPs have been set up across the UK. Each CAP is unique and is a success story in its own right. Many have won awards for innovative partnership working and/or the positive impact they have had on local communities. You can read a selection of case studies by clicking on the right hand menu bar on this page.

The number of positive testimonials from Police, Trading Standards, Local Councillors, MPs and residents are too numerous to quote. Here is but a small selection:

“As Chief Executive of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute it is great to see the growth of Community Alcohol Partnerships. They are an amazing way to bring businesses, regulators and communities together to deliver lasting solutions to the issues that underage drinking has on communities and young people. One of my proudest achievements in trading standards was the establishment of the first ever Community Alcohol Partnership and I know colleagues up and down the country are equally proud of the benefits that their local schemes are bringing.”

Leon Livermore,  TSI Chief Executive

“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.”
                       Mike Penning, Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims
“CAP acts as a great catalyst to broaden community safety partnership working. The involvement of retailers and others to take personal responsibility for their communities can introduce different thinking and innovation to effectively resolve local issues that impact adversely on people’s lives.”
                                         Chief Inspector David Spencer, Northamptonshire Police (2015)
“For a small project in its early stages CAP has punched way above its weight and should be regarded as an exemplary model for the future.”
“What CAP does effectively is to demonstrate that there exists, in a developmental phase, a potentially more ambitious, effective, grounded and enduring strategy for reducing underage drinking and its many deleterious effects on the health of the individual and the community. This strategy operates underneath simple economics and law, dealing with the vital cultural context, attempting to effect a permanent change in the normal everyday relationship between retailers and consumers. So far, the indicators revealed by this evaluation show that long term success is possible.”
            Robert Crow, Research Fellow and Professor Steve Hall, Social Futures Institute                                                    Teesside University, Evaluation of the Stanley CAP (2012)
“This innovative partnership is an excellent example of how public bodies, charities and private companies can work together to resolve a community problem. Not only have the partners contributed to the success of the project but also the youngsters of Brecon, whose involvement and commitment have also contributed to this success.”
         Cllr John Powell, Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, Powys County Council

You could not even sit in your living room because the crowds gathered outside. The language and behaviour was something desperate, I suffered this for 15 terrible years and came close to murder. They (the young people) now speak to you and say hello. They voted me their Pensioner of the Year, it is really fantastic.”

Pensioner Lily O’Hagan, Rosemount Estate, Derry

“Being part of the CAP has brought recognition from the community that we are trying to stop underage drinking. We have also seen a significant decline in attempted under age- purchases and litter has significantly dropped around our premises. I believe that the Midsomer Norton CAP is led with a passion that I have not seen before in a local venture.”
    Paul Broad, Store Manager, Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd, Midsomer Norton (2015)
“By bringing the public, private and voluntary sectors together, we have been able to not only reduce relevant crime by more than 40% but have also improved working relationships, trust in public services and community spirit in the area. We hope that we will be able to continue here and also extend it to other areas.”
    Karen Philips, Senior Environmental Officer and Project Manager, Derry CAP (2012)
“It’s extremely important to educate young people about the dangers of alcohol to ensure they understand the health implications. This partnership is helping to raise awareness of
that and is producing some really positive results which is excellent news.”
                     Professor Kate Ardern, Director for Public Health at Wigan Council (2015)
Working with CAP has helped partners to engage with the licensing trade to greatly reduce the sale of alcohol to young people.

Ivan Wood
Durham Constabulary