Welcome to Community Alcohol Partnerships

Organisations across Gorleston and Bradwell are coming together to launch a Week of Action from March 16-20 to highlight the harm caused by underage drinking.

It is co-ordinated by Gorleston and Bradwell Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP), which was launched last October by a wide range of community partners including Norfolk Constabulary, Trading Standards, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, schools and colleges, retailers, health bodies and agencies working with young people such as the Matthew Project, a charity that supports young people in Norfolk with issues around drugs and substance misuse and KICKS, a Premier League community programme which uses football and sport to inspire young people, as well as the Great Yarmouth Youth Advisory Board.

The launch followed reports of anti-social behaviour by young people in the Gorleston and Bradwell areas, much of it alcohol-fuelled. Retailers were visited by police cadets before the launch and given advice and information on dealing with age restricted sales. Seven of the 19 failed Challenge 25 compliancy tests at that time. 

Last week police worked with Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards and the local licensing team for a test purchase operation targeting licensed venues, after information was received about underage sales. Three venues failed (two in Gorleston and Bradwell and one in South Yarmouth). Staff at two venues were issued with a £90 fine while a third person was reported for selling alcohol to a person under the age of 18.   

Since it was launched, the CAP has actively engaged with all schools across the area and a number of students are taking part in the Young Health Champions course, which aims to give them the skills and confidence to act as peer mentors and spread the message about alcohol harm. More than 40 young carers have also been trained about the risks of underage drinking. 

During the Week there will be performances at schools by singer-songwriter Henry Maybury, whose hit song “Lost Days” was written in tribute to his brother, who died from an alcohol related illness aged just 29. Henry travels around schools and prisons to share his story and music, delivering a powerful message about the dangers of alcohol. 

Young people will be involved in applying pavement stencils which will be on display around the town warning adults that it is an offence to buy alcohol for children.

Retailers will be closely involved in the week: there will be information stands at Morrisons in Gorleston and Tesco in Bradwell where residents will be invited to take part in a survey to assess their perception of alcohol related anti-social behaviour locally.

Tescos is also hosting a retailer training session at its Tesco Extra store in Cobholm on the challenges of recognising and dealing with age restricted sales, provided by trading standards, the police and a Tesco trainer.

Sgt Julie Johnson said: “There have been reports from the community about anti-social behaviour in Gorleston and Bradwell. This kind of risk-taking behaviour, coupled with alcohol use in public places, leaves young people very vulnerable and is damaging to the local community. During the Week of Action we want the whole community to get behind CAP’s work to raise awareness of the impact of alcohol, ensure that retailers take a response approach and work closely with schools and youth organisations to provide alcohol education and alcohol-free activities.”

CAP Chair Derek Lewis said: "Underage drinking is associated with school and educational problems, unprotected sex, consumption of illicit drugs, violence and drinking problems in later life. A powerful body of evidence over the last four years shows that CAPs are achieving significant reductions in alcohol supply to children, alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and underage drinking. They are helping to create better, safer and friendlier neighbourhoods and offer a great opportunity to make a real and lasting difference to our nation’s relationship with alcohol, starting with the current generation of young people.” 

For further information, contact: Sgt Julie Johnson, OPT, Great Yarmouth Police Station

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 Pennings
Northamptonshire Police

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