Welcome to Community Alcohol Partnerships

One of CAP’s great strengths is its flexible, adaptable model, which can be tailored to fit the needs of any community. The examples here show the varied approaches CAPS take to tackling alcohol harm to young people – and the impact they are having in their communities.

There is an emerging body of evidence – both from the five independent evaluations commissioned by CAP and the self-evaluation reports that all schemes are required to produce – that CAP helps to reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder and the acquisition of alcohol by under-18s. In recent years we have also seen significant reductions in weekly drinking among Years 9-11 in CAP schools.

Typical improvements in the key measures in 2018:


Lancaster CAP – building a safe and strong community

The Bulk Ward estate in Lancaster is one of the most deprived areas in the North West of England, where underage drinking has been a long-standing issue. Lancaster CAP has worked closely with the community to change attitudes and behaviour, resulting in real improvements to the well-being of young people and residents. Working from its base at the Ridge Community Centre, there is very clear evidence that the CAP is having an extremely positive impact: reducing underage drinking, improving the health and well-being of residents and creating a real sense of community in the area. 

An 80% reduction in anti-social behaviour in Longtown

Longtown CAP has brought about a hugely impressive 80% reduction in anti-social behaviour locally. Its success has come from focussing on both the supply and the demand side of underage drinking – working with closely with retailers to raise standards and engaging with young people, getting them involved with the campaign and building their trust. The CAP held five engagement nights with young people to give their views and then set about fundraising to renovate a room at the community centre that they could use, and for a paid worker to run sessions with them. 

Todmorden CAP - two years on

Before the launch of Todmorden CAP in 2016 there was an increase in reports of minor crime, anti-social behaviour and youth related nuisance. One of the primary focuses of the CAP has been working with young people in the area, targeting underage and proxy purchasing and highlighting the dangers of alcohol. By working closely together, the partnership has had a significant impact on the community and brought about further positive schemes such as the hugely successful pub watch – something that all licensees proactively take part in to keep their customers safe. 

Working with young people in Reading

In 2016, Reading CAP was independently evaluated through Arcola Research, which highlighted its particular success in raising awareness of alcohol harm; education; reducing alcohol sales to young people and providing training for retailers to ensure compliance with legal requirements. A summary of the evaluation can be read here.

Anti-social behaviour drops by 62% in Mile End

Mile End CAP tackled underage drinking by giving young people new employment opportunities and leisure activities, following residents’ concerns about problem behavior in the area. The CAP also stepped up work with local schools and youth centres to raise awareness about substance misuse issues and youngsters from the borough’s youth council carried out test purchasing of alcohol so trading standards could enforce against retail outlets selling alcohol to anyone underage. Read more here.

CAP acts as a great catalyst to broaden community safety partnership working. The involvement of retailers and others to take personal responsibility for their communities can introduce different thinking and innovation to effectively resolve local issues that impact adversely on people’s lives.

Chief Inspector David Pennings
Northamptonshire Police

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