Two new Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs) have been launched in Broadstairs and Ramsgate to tackle underage drinking and anti-social behaviour.
CAPs are made up of partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers. 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.
The Broadstairs and Ramsgate CAPs have brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including Kent County Council, Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue Services, Thanet District Council, schools, retailers and the community.
In the run-up to the launch, 30 licensed premises have been visited by Trading Standards and the local Police Licensing Enforcement Officer to give advice on how to refuse suspected underage sales and over 400 pupils aged 14-17 have been surveyed in secondary schools regarding their drinking habits.
Of those that answered the question:
25% of school children in Broadstairs admitted that they have been drunk in the last 4 weeks
21% have had an alcoholic drink in the last 7 days
28% have been given an alcoholic drink by their parents or guardians in the last 4 weeks
Among the speakers at the launch at East Kent College was Henry Maybury, a 22-year-old singer and songwriter whose brother Tom died from an alcohol related illness aged just 29. Coinciding with the fourth anniversary of Tom’s funeral, Henry performed his song “Lost Days”, which 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 throughout the UK, whether by performing, speaking or attending events..
CAP national chairman 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.”
Craig Mackinlay, MP for Thanet South said: “I am not going to demonise alcohol, because it is part of British culture, but we have to recognise what can happen if alcohol use gets out of control. I support Thanet’s responsible and well-run licensed premises, but we need to ensure that all pubs and off-licences have the same responsible attitude towards the sale to under-age customers.”
Six pupils from St George’s School in Broadstairs each read their own short essay on the impact they felt alcohol abuse could have and the challenges facing young people.
Steve Rock, head of KCC Trading Standards thanked all the partners in the CAP, including Thanet District Council, Kent Fire and Rescue, Public Health, the Margate Taskforce, local retailers, Thorley Taverns, Shepherd Neame, Trading Standards officer Neil Butcher, who has been working on setting up the CAP for the past six months, and Addaction, the charity helping with drugs and alcohol issues.
After the event, Cllr Lin Fairbrass, Thanet District Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services said: “Community Alcohol Partnerships have an enviable track record of reducing underage drinking and we’re delighted that two new schemes are being launched in Broadstairs and Ramsgate.
“We’re committed to creating a clean and welcoming environment in Thanet and these initiatives will have a positive impact on crime, anti-social behaviour and litter.”
Caption: Thanet South MP Craig Mackinlay and singer Henry Maybury with students from East Kent College, which hosted the launch.
Notes for Editors
- 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. 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.