A wide-ranging initiative aimed a tackling underage drinking on Arran has been launched with the creation of the Arran Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) which is seen as a positive way to collectively tackle the problem which, a recent survey confirms, is not uncommon on the island.
New posters and billboards have been produced, some with warnings stating that it is illegal to buy alcohol on behalf of someone who is under 18 with a penalty of up to £5,000 or a possible prison sentence. Others highlight the dangers to youngsters by drinking. The CAP is intended to complement the existing work of retailers and enforcement agencies, without increasing resources in the long term.
Sergeant Dougie Robertson said:"Through the establishment of the Arran Community Alcohol Partnership, we hope to encourage a culture where both adults and young people drink responsibly, young people under the age of 18 years are only able to access alcohol under responsible and informed supervision and safe consumption limits are known by all. We also want to look at the ways in which alcohol falls into the hands of young people and deal appropriately with the issues around the unlawful or esponsible supply of alcohol to them.”
As well as helping to reduce instances of underage drinking, the CAP will provide education and diversionary measures, working with key partners and people in the community.
CAP adviser Alan Simpson added: “Alcohol can be seriously damaging to the health and development of young people and can impact negatively on the wider community. For our part, CAP offers a great opportunity to make a real and lasting difference to the nation’s relationship with alcohol, starting with the current generation of young people. The Arran CAP is an excellent example of how, when partners come together for a common purpose, it can produce innovative, creative and engaging ways of tactfully encouraging young people to reassess their alcohol consumption and follow a healthy lifestyle.”
The CAP was launched at Arran High School with representatives from partners who include: the Arran Local Policing Team, North Ayrshire Council, Arran High School, Arran Youth Foundations (AYF), Arran Community and Voluntary Service (ACVS), Arran Community Council, the Co-operative and Asda (Ardrossan) and independent alcohol retailers.