A new partnership highlighting the risks of underage drinking has been launched in Fort William today (6 March 2023).
Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs) are made up of partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to highlight the risks of underage drinking and improve the health and wellbeing of local children and young people.
The Fort William CAP will work with youth services and local organisations to provide alcohol-free activities for young people. It will also work with local schools to educate young people about underage drinking and ensure that they are equipped to make the right decisions about issues such as alcohol and drugs and anti-social and criminal behaviour.
Working with local retailers CAP aims to help them avoid making underage sales and reduce ‘proxy’ sales where adults buy alcohol for under-18s.
Partners in the Fort William CAP include Lochaber High School, Trading Standards, Scottish Fire & Rescue, Scottish Ambulance Service, Youth Action Team, High Life Highland and Lochaber Hope. The CAP will be coordinated by Fort William Police.
Sgt Gavin Law from Fort William Police Office commented: “Young people can face difficult challenges in their lives, and we need to ensure they have the confidence to help them make the right decisions, especially since alcohol abuse can severely impact on the ability to make positive choices. Young people drinking can also impact on the whole community and we have listened to local concerns, and I am pleased to see the community and partners coming together in this new CAP initiative to tackle these issues.
Kate Winstanley, Director of Community Alcohol Partnerships, said: "I am really pleased to see the launch of a CAP in Wallsend. We know from extensive research that underage drinking can lead to school and educational problems, as well as unsafe sex, drug-taking, violence and drinking problems in later life.”
“In fifteen years, CAP has set up over 200 partnerships around the UK and our research shows that they are having a real impact on reducing children’s alcohol consumption, improving their health and wellbeing and enhancing the communities where they live.”
About Community Alcohol Partnerships:
CAPs bring together a range of local stakeholders with a shared interest in preventing underage drinking and encouraging responsible drinking among young adults.
A rigorous evaluation framework shows how this innovative partnership approach has brought significant reductions in alcohol supply to children, alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and underage street drinking, with CAP areas demonstrating:
· 61% average reductions in weekly drinking among 13–16-year-olds
· 99% of retailers passed Challenge 25 compliance test for alcohol sales
· 86% of retailers did not sell alcohol when they suspected it was a ‘proxy’ sale
· 50% reduction in young people hanging around shops and asking adults to buy alcohol for them
· 42% reduction in youth alcohol-related anti-social behaviour
For media information please contact: Samantha Patel, PR Manager, CAP [email protected]