An initiative to reduce problem drinking will help tackle antisocial behaviour in Ripon, police have announced.
Officers will use a mix of tactics, including test purchases in the city to prevent sales of alcohol to children. They will also do intervention work to prevent under-18s drinking and education work to help young people understand the risks.
The work will be delivered through a Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) which will see police working with retailers, schools, neighbourhood groups, Trading Standards, local authorities and other emergency and health services.
The move comes as part of North Yorkshire Police’s response to concerns raised by residents about antisocial behaviour, underage drinking and other crime linked to it.
Community Alcohol Partnerships have recently been launched in other parts of North Yorkshire, including Richmond and coastal communities.
Ripon CAP joins more than 240 areas nationally where CAPs have been introduced. They have led to a 61% reductions in weekly drinking by teenagers, a 50% drop in young people hanging round shops and asking adults to buy alcohol, and a 42% decline in anti-social behaviour involving drink.
PCSO Helenor Gwatkin, who is leading the launch for North Yorkshire Police, said: “We’re listening to residents’ concerns about antisocial behaviour in Ripon and we’re addressing them in several ways.
“Our targeted patrols are one part of the solution, but the Community Alcohol Partnership allows us to focus on prevention and early intervention. This stops issues from arising, reduces offences and helps educate young people to make better choices.
“CAPs have been very well supported in other parts of North Yorkshire and I am confident the initiative in Ripon will be just as well received.”
Police will team up with youth services and other local organisations to provide alcohol-free activities for young people and with local schools to take a proactive approach to alcohol education.
Trading Standards and police will arrange test purchases from local shops and will work with retailers to raise awareness of what they can do.
Kate Winstanley, Director of Community Alcohol Partnerships, said: "I am delighted to see the launch of a CAP in Ripon. Underage drinking is associated with school and educational problems, unprotected sex, drug-taking, violence and drinking problems in later life.
“In just over a decade CAP has set up more than 240 partnerships around the UK and our evaluations show they are having a significant impact on reducing children’s alcohol consumption, improving their health and wellbeing and enhancing the communities where they live.”
Ripon CAP will officially launch on Wednesday 6 April.
About community alcohol partnerships:
CAPs bring together a range of local stakeholders with a shared interest in preventing underage drinking and encouraging responsible drinking among young adults.
A rigorous evaluation framework shows how this innovative partnership approach has brought significant reductions in alcohol supply to children, alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and underage street drinking, with CAP areas demonstrating:
- 61% average reductions in weekly drinking among 13–16-year-olds
- 99% of retailers passed Challenge 25 compliance test for alcohol sales
- 86% of retailers did not sell alcohol when they suspected it was a ‘proxy’ sale
- 50% reduction in young people hanging around shops and asking adults to buy alcohol for them
- 42% reduction in youth alcohol-related anti-social behaviour
For more information see: www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk