Two schemes are being launched to tackle underage drinking and anti-social behaviour on the Isle of Sheppey. Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs) are being launched for both Leysdown and Sheerness to reduce the sale of alcohol to young people, advise them on the dangers of drinking and provide alcohol-free activities through youth services and local charities.
CAPs bring together local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers to help communities tackle alcohol-related harm to young people and improve the quality of life for residents.
Across the country, more than 170 CAPs have had outstanding impacts on local crime, anti-social behaviour, litter, feelings of safety and reductions in underage purchasing of alcohol.
The CAPs were officially launched at the Oasis Academy, on June 21 by representatives from the different groups involved in the scheme.
The Sheerness and Leysdown CAPs will bring together a wide range of stakeholders, including Kent Police, Kent County Council, Swale Borough Council, KFRS, Sheppey College, the Oasis Academy, retailers and holiday parks.
Cllr Richard Palmer, cabinet member for community at the council, said:
“There is growing concern about the levels of underage drinking on the Island among local residents, councillors and retailers, so I am delighted to announce the introduction of the CAP to tackle alcohol-related harm in the area. Drinking alcohol at a young age brings serious risks to children’s health and development and puts them in danger of both physical and social harm. They are far more likely to injure themselves or someone else, fail to reach their potential at school and engage in anti-social behaviour. We are committed to making a positive difference to their lives and to our local community.”
CAPs across the UK have enjoyed considerable success tackling underage drinking with a mix of education, enforcement, community engagement and the provision of diversionary activities for young people.
CAP Director Kate Winstanley said: “I am delighted at the launch of CAPs in Sheppey. Community Alcohol Partnerships are a tried and tested way of driving down underage drinking and creating better, safer and friendlier neighbourhoods.”
Notes for editors
For more information about Community Alcohol Partnerships, visit www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk