A county-wide Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) scheme aimed at tackling underage drinking and associated problems is being rolled out across County Durham and Darlington today.
The county-wide CAP rollout follows the success of CAPs in Stanley and Peterlee which saw a marked reduction in associated anti-social behaviour (37.2%) compared to the rest of the county (8.8%).
Durham Constabulary is playing a lead role in orchestrating simultaneous implementation of the CAP across County Durham and Darlington. The Durham County CAP will bring together a wide range of partners including Durham County Council, Darlington Borough Council, (including Trading Standards and Licensing), County Durham and Darlington Fire Services, Neighbourhood Watch, local youth services 4Real and Switch, local retailers, schools and youth groups who will all be working together to reduce underage drinking and anti-social behaviour.
A priority will be reducing the opportunities young people have to purchase alcohol through continued dialogue and intelligence sharing between alcohol retailers and enforcement agencies.
A number of national retailers within the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group (RASG) will be offering free training for smaller independent stores in Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) areas on responsible selling practices, including the 'Challenge 25' identification policy and guidance on prevention of proxy purchase.
Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) will support alcohol education for parents and children as well as supporting a range of diversionary activities that promote positive lifestyle choices.
Derek Lewis, Chair of Community Alcohol Partnerships said: "I am delighted at the launch of a county wide Community Alcohol Programme (CAP) across Durham and Darlington. Community Alcohol Partnerships are a tried and tested way of driving down underage drinking and creating better, safer and friendlier neighbourhoods.
"Locally tailored partnerships, which recognise that retailers and licensees are an important part of the solution, have been shown to be highly effective in driving down harm.
Chief Superintendent Ivan Wood said: “We are constantly being told by the community that young people drinking is a problem in their area. Working with CAP and other partners we are tackling this problem. CAP has been successful in Stanley and Peterlee so we are looking to introduce the programme across County Durham and Darlington. ”
Hardish Purewal, Tesco Licensing Manager and Chair of the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group said: “The Stanley and Peterlee CAPs proved that partnership working can really make a difference to local communities. It’s a real credit to all those involved that CAP is now being rolled out across the whole of Durham and Darlington.”
Notes for Editors
1. What are Community Alcohol Partnerships?
Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) aim to tackle public underage drinking through co-operation between alcohol retailers and local stakeholders, such as Trading Standards, police, local authority licensing teams, schools and health networks. CAP addresses both the demand and supply side of underage drinking through enforcement, education and public perception.
2. How does this work in practice?
Retailers and local authorities commit to share information on problems with underage drinking; if retailers or local authorities become aware of problems in a local store they would share this information with their partners and work with them to solve the problem.
This work goes hand in hand with joint confiscation operations between police and trading standards, in co-operation and communication with staff in the local shops, and educational sessions for pupils and parents in local colleges and schools highlighting the legal issues in attempting to purchase alcohol and raising awareness of proxy purchasing. Public awareness is reinforced through work with local media. Retailers will also work together to support each other with shared training programmes and best practice.
3. How many CAPs are there?
Including the new Durham and Darlington CAPs a total of 78 CAPs have been launched since the scheme was first piloted in 2007. With CAPs in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales the scheme is now truly UK wide. There are plans to increase the number of CAPs with a particular focus on areas which have been identified as having ‘high harms’ and within the Government’s Local Alcohol Action Area (LAAA) project.
4. What is the cost of these schemes for local authorities or the police?
Community Alcohol Partnerships are an industry funded initiative that use existing resources available to local communities, meaning they come at no additional cost to the local authority or the police. Additional resources such as educational materials and posters are provided by industry contributions so CAPs could mean a net saving for local authorities and the police.
5. What results have Community Alcohol Partnerships achieved?
Evaluation of CAP is mandatory, allowing us to continuously review and improve the model whilst at the same time provides evidence of effectiveness. CAP evaluations have consistently shown good evidence of effectiveness, as can be seen from the following examples:
- The St Neots CAP (2007) saw a 45% reduction in ASB;
- In the Stanley CAP (2012), early intervention patrols resulted in a marked reduction in associated ASB (37.2%) compared to the rest of the county (8.8%);
- The Barnsley CAP (2011) saw a 30% reduction in alcohol related ASB compared with 7.4% in the control areas;
- In Islington (2011), the first inner city CAP. youth alcohol related accidents requiring the attention of the London Ambulance Service were halved during the life of the CAP and a test purchase program at the end of the training period resulted in no failures;
- In Derry (2011), referrals to youth diversion officers decreased from 114 – 4 and youth nuisance decreased by 50%