April 2016 saw the launch of a Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) in Todmorden, aiming to tackle alcohol abuse, underage drinking and anti-social behaviour in the community.
Prior to the launch of the CAP there was an increase in reports of minor crime, anti-social behaviour and youth related nuisance in Todmorden Town Centre and Centre Vale Park.
The introduction of the CAP demonstrated the commitment of various agencies and local partners to look at a complete approach to dealing with the issues and to re-build the reputation of the area for local residents and tourists.
Two years since its inception, the CAP has been working hard across all areas of the community to make positive changes across Todmorden.
One of the primary focuses of the CAP has been working with young people in the area, targeting underage, proxy purchasing and highlighting the general dangers of alcohol. Age appropriate workshops have been held across primary and secondary schools, with visits from local police officers highlighting the harms and risks of alcohol, drug and tobacco use and their effect on antisocial behaviour.
Students at Todmorden High School also designed their own posters to promote the key messages, and to positively influence their peers.
Diversionary activities have also been effective in the area, some of which have been delivered by Bus Oasis, offering alternative activities for young people to deter them from negative behaviour. This has also included the promotion of local scouting groups and the successful development of a skating area in Centre Vale Park by one of the CAP partners, Calderdale Council.
Officers have also conducted regular licence checks and test purchase operations across the area to gather intelligence, monitor issues, and where necessary take robust action against those not adhering to legislation.
Relationships with GP’s and specialist healthcare teams have been positively maintained to offer a complete community response, highlighting the whole community’s desire and commitment to improving the area.
Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant Bob Saxon said; “All partners have been working hard since the launch to make the Community Alcohol Partnership in Todmorden a success, and to tackle the issues in the area that were causing significant concern to residents and businesses.
“The holistic approach we have been able to take with the CAP has been very positive. We have been able to work closely with support agencies and who work with individuals who have alcohol issues to support them and their families and to seek proactive solutions to often difficult circumstances. Officers have been promoting the work of the CAP at Ward Forums and public meetings, and utilising legislation when necessary against individuals who continually commit anti-social behaviour in public areas such as the parks and green spaces.
“The work over the last two years has had a significant impact on the community and brought about further positive schemes such as the hugely successful pub watch – something that all licensees proactively take part in to keep their customers safe.
“The CAP has seen some fantastic results and everyone involved in bringing about the various activities over the last two years should be proud of the impact this is having in our local area.
“It doesn’t stop here though; We are continuing this work with businesses, licensees, local schools and all our partners to continue to deliver a bespoke, robust and effective plan to keep the success we have seen going.”