A new Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) will launch in Ore, Hastings on July 14 to tackle underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour. Surveys of parents and residents have highlighted that both are significant problems in the area.
CAPs are made up of partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to empower communities to tackle alcohol-related harm to young people and improve the quality of life for residents.
They aim to reduce the sale of alcohol to young people, advise them on the dangers of drinking and provide alcohol-free activities through youth services and local charities.
Across the country CAPs have had outstanding impacts on local crime, anti-social behaviour, litter, feelings of safety and reductions in underage purchasing of alcohol.
The Ore, Hastings CAP will bring together a wide range of stakeholders, including East Sussex County Council, Hastings Borough Council, the NHS, Safer Hastings Partnership, Sussex Police, Licensing Teams, the Hastings Academy, retailers and the community.
In the run up to the launch all licensed premises in the area have been visited by the Hastings Borough Council Licensing Officer to give advice on how to refuse suspected underage sales, and surveys have been carried out with residents and parents.
36 people in Ore were surveyed who had children between the ages of 11-16. Of these:
Ø 81% said that their child drinks alcohol
Ø 61% felt that alcohol was a ‘rite of passage’
Ø Although only 25% admitted to buying alcohol for their own children, 39% said they knew another parent that did
Ø 39% knew that our brain development continues until our early 20s and alcohol can affect this
70 residents were surveyed regarding their perceptions towards underage drinking and 50% felt that young people hanging around shops asking adults to buy alcohol for them was a very big or fairly big problem.
The CAP will work with partners including the National Social Marketing Centre (NSMC) to raise awareness of the harms of young people drinking, including being given alcohol by parents or relatives. NSMC has researched underage drinking in Ore and found that parents often supply their underage children with alcohol.
As a response to this the NSMC has designed several hard hitting ‘myth busting’ posters focussing on the reasons why parents told them they give their kids alcohol, and to debunk the reasons/myths that are often given. The posters are now being displayed in shops, pubs and other public areas to raise awareness among parents and a radio campaign is planned for July.
On July 14 the formal launch of the Ore, Hastings CAP will take place at 14:00 in the main hall of the Hastings Academy. Students from The Academy will pledge to become CAP Youth Ambassadors and spread the word about the dangers of underage drinking. They will be presented with certificates by singer/songwriter Henry Maybury whose brother Tom died from an alcohol related illness aged just 29. Henry’s song “Lost Days” was written in tribute to his brother and has achieved over a million views on YouTube.
Henry travels around schools and prisons to share his story and music and provides great support to CAPs by performing and attending events. The young people have all agreed to participate in the Youth Health Ambassador Programme run by the Royal Society of Public Health. This is designed to give young people the knowledge, skills, and confidence to act as peer mentors, increasing awareness of healthy lifestyles and encouraging involvement in activities to promote good health.
The launch will also include presentations from CAP Director Kate Winstanley; Jennifer Coleman, Chair of the Hastings Alcohol Inquiry: Colin Brown of East Sussex County Council and Richard Watson of NHS Hastings & Rother CCG.
Rt Hon Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye has sent a message of support: “I am delighted to see the introduction of the Ore, Hastings CAP to tackle alcohol-related harm in the area. Drinking alcohol at a young age brings serious risks to children’s health and development and puts them in danger of both physical and social harm. They are far more likely to injure themselves or someone else, engage in unsafe sex, fail to reach their potential at school and engage in anti-social behaviour. We are committed to making a positive difference to their lives and to our local community.”
Cllr Colin Fitzgerald said “Hastings Borough Council welcomes this initiative which will make a positive contribution to the national problem of underage drinking. The peer mentors and the information campaign offer real alternatives with healthy lifestyles for our young people in Ore.
CAP Chair Derek Lewis said: “A significant proportion of children have not only drunk alcohol before the age of 18 but are likely to have been drunk at least once in the last four weeks. This can be seriously damaging to their health and development and impact negatively on the wider community. CAPs 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.”
If you need further information please contact: Julia Shipston, Communications Manager at CAP: tel: 0771 3163003.
Notes for Editors
- In 2014, 38% of 11-15 year olds in England had drunk alcohol. This continued the downward trend since 2003, when 61% of pupils had drunk alcohol. 1However 4% said they drank alcohol at least once a week and a further 5% said they drank once a fortnight.2
- Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) schemes are set up to tackle underage drinking and the resulting harm to local communities. All schemes are managed and delivered locally via partnerships between local authorities, police, retailers, schools and neighbourhood groups and health providers, offering a flexible model tailored to fit the needs of each community. All schemes incorporate a mixture of education, enforcement, community engagement and the provision of diversionary activities for young people.
- CAP is a community interest company (CIC), funded by major retailers who share its concerns about underage drinking. Current funders include: Aldi, ASDA, ACS, Brown Forman, Co-op, Diageo, Heineken, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Molson Coors, One Stop, Sainsbury’s, SHS Drinks, Tesco and Waitrose. We are also grateful to the Welsh Government which provided £15,000 towards the establishment of three new CAPs in Wales.
- The first CAP was set up in St Neots in 2007. Between 2014 and 2016 the number of CAPs more than doubled and there are now 137 across the UK.
1 Statistics on Alcohol, Health and Social Care Information Centre, published 30 June 2016.
2 Data intelligence summary: Alcohol consumption and harm among under 18 year olds, Public Health England, published July 2016.