A scheme designed to crack down on under-age drinking and anti-social behaviour on Hayling Island during the summer tourist season and beyond, will be launched by local MP David Willetts on Friday 23rd March at 15.00, at Hayling Island community centre.
Organised by the Hampshire Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP), the scheme seeks to tackle the nuisance created by young people – both over and under 18 – drinking alcohol in public places and becoming involved in anti-social behaviour, vandalism and drink-related litter on Hayling Island in the areas around Elm Grove, Mendham Road, the dirt jumps, Hayling Park and the Sea Front. In particular, the initiative seeks to address the problem of adults purchasing alcohol for young people – known as proxy purchasing, and being able to access alcohol from home supplies.
Seeking to bring a variety of agencies together, including local retailers, youth services, Hampshire County Council Accredited Community Safety Officers (ACSOs) and County Council Trading Standards Service, the police and the media, the Havant CAP scheme will focus on three main elements, education, enforcement and public perception:
- Education – training all local retailers about the sale of alcohol, particularly using the ‘challenge 25’ scheme; educating young people through schools and youth clubs about the health effects of alcohol and targeting adults with information about the law relating to proxy purchasing
- Enforcement – following the training phase, tests will be made among retailers as to the robustness of their systems (with further advice offered where necessary); police and ACSOs will patrol areas for under-age drinking with alcohol confiscated and parents informed; intoxicated young people will be taken home; young people with second offences will be invited to an alcohol workshop with their parent or guardian and a third offence may face prosecution
- Public perception - the scheme will run for six months and then be evaluated against the same period last year with perception audits carried out before and after through Facebook, local outlets and surveys; it is hoped the local media will also help to raise awareness, communicate progress and report alcohol misuse and anti-social behaviour
Hampshire Constabulary’s Community Alcohol Partnership Project Leader Sergeant James Noble said: “Police want to keep crime levels low on Hayling Island, particularly as the numbers of people staying in the area increases for the spring and summer tourist season. Bringing together the expertise of police and partner agencies is crucial to making the island an even safer place to live and visit. We want all ages in the community to realise the risks of alcohol abuse so they can prevent the consequences ruining their lives. Hampshire Constabulary is committed to using its skills and services for this project alongside community safety teams and trading standards, and we appreciate the ongoing support from members of the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA).”
Rt Hon David Willetts, MP, said: “We all know that we have a particular problem on Hayling Island in the summer season when reports of anti-social behaviour go up. I am delighted by this initiative to help young people and adults understand the dangers of alcohol and to protect local residents from anti-social behaviour. I look forward to the results of the evaluation in the autumn to measure its success.”
For further information, please contact James Noble (Police Sergeant, Community Alcohol Partnership): [email protected]