(L-R): Derek Lewis, Chair of CAP and Tommy Sheppard MP presenting the award to PC Lauren Mitchell and PC Anna Morrison, Police Scotland
Two Police Constables who are Community Officers with Police Scotland in Edinburgh have won a national award for their work tackling underage drinking and promoting the health and wellbeing of local young people.
PCs Lauren Mitchell and Anna Morrison each received the Chair’s Award for their outstanding contribution at an event at Westminster on June
This is the second time that the pair have been awarded for their roles within the NE Edinburgh Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP). In 2022 they were awarded the CAP of the Year prize.
Over year Lauren and Anna have been involved in a huge range of events designed to educate young people about the risks of under-age drinking. These include:
- a litter pick with young people on beach. During the break Lauren and Anna spoke to the youths about some of the alcohol bottles/cans that were collected. The young people were rewarded with pizza and at the end of the litter pick.
- Lauren and Anna invited local young people into Leith Police Station for a tour of the building. Once the tour was they used the “drunk goggles” and played games to help show them what being under the influence of alcohol may feel like.
- Lauren and Anna secured funding to arrange a “Keep Fit” event for young girls. Thinking outside the box was a main factor for this event as they didn’t want to go with the usual “football” or “dance” events. In the break, the pair talked to the girls about underage drinking and the risks associated with it.
PC Lauren Mitchell and PC Anna Morrison comment:
“We have come far in terms of addressing underage drinking but there is still lots to do. Policies and restrictions alone will not put a stop to this problem. It can only be achieved through continuous education, collaboration and diversionary tactics. CAP is the key factor in achieving this goal. The connections we have made through CAP allow us to reach further than our roles within the Police would allow us. We have been able to utilise resources that we were not aware existed to expand our work and achieve greater outcomes. It is essential that CAP’s work is being continually promoted so that it attracts more people who want to get involved, as greater “CAP community” means greater results”.
There are over 250 CAP partnerships in England, Scotland and Wales. They bring together local stakeholders with a shared interest in preventing underage drinking and encouraging responsible drinking among young adults. CAP partnerships are made up of retailers, local authorities, police, schools, groups and health providers, working together to protect young people from alcohol harm.
CAP’s annual report, launched at the event, shows how this innovative partnership approach has led to significant reductions to children’s drinking, anti-social behaviour and underage sales in areas where it has created local partnerships.
Nationally, CAP evaluations show:
- 64% reduction in weekly drinking for
- After CAP training, 98% of retailers passed a Challenge 25 compliance test – from an average baseline of 52%
- 42% reduction in anti-social
- 40% reduction in residents reporting children and young people drinking in public places to be a very big or problem
CAP Director Kate Winstanley says: “I’m delighted that in CAP areas around the country we are seeing such sustained reductions in regular drinking and anti-social among young people. CAPs are having a significant impact on reducing children’s alcohol consumption, improving their health and wellbeing and enhancing the communities where they live.”
You can download a copy of the Annual report here: https://www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk/images/CAP_Annual_Review_2022-23_-_digitalFINAL.pdf