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Lancaster, Burnley and Ribble Valley CAPs have launched a new alcohol awareness campaign aimed at parents after a Lancashire Trading Standards Young People's Alcohol & Tobacco survey found that 70% of 14-17 year olds say they are supplied alcohol by their parents.  The survey results also show that across Lancashire:

·        37% of young people do not feel in control when drunk

·        41% of young people claim to drink alcohol to get drunk

·        3% of young people regretted sex after drinking

·        14% of young people reported being violent or involved in a fight while drunk

·        16% of young people had been in a car with a driver who had been drinking

The Where’s the Harm? campaign aims to increase parental preparedness and acceptance of responsibility to monitor, supervise and prevent young people's exposure to alcohol consumption and related harm; reduce the number of parents who provide alcohol to young people and increase awareness of alcohol harms and risks. 

Samantha Beetham, Senior Officer in the Alcohol and Tobacco Team at Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards Service said: “Whilst there has been a welcome reduction in young people's drinking, we know that young people under the influence of alcohol are presented with greater opportunities to participate in risk taking behaviour which places them physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually at risk. There is also an increased likelihood of them becoming a victim or perpetrator of anti-social behaviour or crime.

The main audience for the campaign is parents.  We want to focus on parental responsibility, encouraging parents to know where and who their children are with especially on Friday/Saturday nights. We also want to change perceptions of how appropriate it is for parents to give alcohol to under 18s and encourage parents to speak to their child about alcohol and look at putting guidelines and boundaries in place.”

Where's the Harm? campaign messages have been developed in partnership with Trading Standards and Lancashire Constabulary. Research by Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2011) also suggests that efforts to improve drinking behaviour among young people at a local policy level are best directed at supporting and educating parents.

The campaign will include a two-week radio campaign on Rock FM, Bay Radio and 2BR and posters distributed to all off-licensed premises and GP's surgeries and health centres across Lancashire. There will be guidance for parents on the Lancashire County Council website at www.lancashire.gov.uk/lancan and information booklets will be distributed to all Lancashire secondary schools aimed at Year 7 and 9 pupils.

The campaign was launched on 27 November and will run through December.

Alcohol and underage drinking is the underlying cause of a range of problems so by tackling this issue through early intervention and by taking prompt, positive action whenever problems start to emerge we can make a real difference in communities, whilst at the same time helping to stop young people being drawn further into offending and into the Criminal Justice System. I am delighted to offer my support to the Community Alcohol Partnership projects in South Wales.

Alun Michael
Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales and former Secretary of State for Wales

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