Plans which show how community groups can get set up to tackle problems in their area, relating to alcohol and anti social behaviour, are being launched by the Kent Community Alcohol Partnership (KCAP).
Following successful pilot schemes in Edenbridge, Canterbury and Thanet, other areas across Kent are now being encouraged to get involved.
The new toolkit will be announced at the Kent Community Alcohol Partnership conference on Friday 22 June.
KCAP is lead by Kent County Council’s Trading Standards working with the Kent Drug and Alcohol Action Team, Kent Police, the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group (RASG), alcohol retailers, district and borough councils and the health authorities. The partnership works to raise awareness of alcohol related issues which affect local people, supports and advises retailers and enforce licensing laws.
KCAPs are now a proven method of tackling alcohol-related problems in communities, with an independent evaluation from the University of Kent finding a 28% overall drop in criminal damage in the pilot areas. There was also a drop in reports people being drunk or rowdy in public places.
Since the pilots were launched, the scheme has been extended to Herne Bay and Whitstable, Cliftonville West and Margate Central, Maidstone High Street and Swanley.
Among the speakers at the conference will be Chief Constable of Kent Police Ian Learmonth, Chief Executive of Shepherd Neame Brewery Jonathan Neame and Nick Grant, Chair of RASG and Head of Legal Affairs for Sainsbury’s .
Councillor Mike Hill, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Customer and Communities, said: "KCAP has now been running successfully for three years and has made a real difference to tackling alcohol related problems in communities. The KCAP toolkit, aimed at community groups outlines how they can set up and promote their own KCAP area with the full support of all the partner agencies."
Chief Constable of Kent Police Ian Learmonth said: "The Kent Community Alcohol Partnership commenced in 2008 with key pilot sites that had agreed to take part in the exciting new programme. A great deal of activity has taken place since that launch which has seen KCAP grow into the largest such Community Alcohol Partnership in the Country. I am very proud of the work that all partners have carried out to make this such a successful initiative.
“While the KCAP Conference is being held on 22nd June 2012, Kent is experiencing continued reductions in crime and disorder across the county. We know our communities tell us that excessive drinking is of concern to them. We have listened and we have put exceptional effort into the Kent Community Alcohol Partnership in response to those concerns.
“With our partners who are represented at the conference, we continue work together to ensure that KCAP plays a central role in keeping Kent safe."
Nick Grant, Chairman of Retail of Alcohol Standards Group (RASG), said: “Through KCAP we have built a strong and successful partnership and devised flexible solutions that adapt to a variety of local circumstances throughout Kent. We look forward to the continued development of the Community Alcohol Partnership programme in Kent, which is an excellent example of Local authority and retail partnership best practice.”