Welcome to Community Alcohol Partnerships

This CAP was piloted in Stanley (2011) and Peterlee (2012) and on the basis of positive evaluations of both schemes, a range of partners agreed to roll it out across the entire county under police co-ordination. The partners of Durham CAP/Operation Aries agreed that the long term vision of the initiative should be the promotion of a culture across Durham where young people under the age of 18 choose not to drink alcohol, where access to alcohol from friends and relatives is restricted and the immediate short term and long term impacts of alcohol consumption in young people are understood.

Date established: 2011 

Key partners:

Durham Constabulary,  Durham County Council (including Trading Standards), 4Real, Neighbourhood Wardens, Youth Offending Service, Local Safeguarding Children’s Board, One Point Service, Public Health, Community Safety and Anti-Social Behaviour Teams and Fire Service, local Housing Associations, Neighbourhood Watch schemes, local schools, RASG members with Tesco,Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Co-op each leading in different areas. 

Actions taken:

• A “Responsible Retailer” scheme rolled out in all CAP areas – this involves regular and on-going training workshops and sessions run by major retailers for smaller independent alcohol retailers, a written commitment by participating retailers to support CAP campaigns (Challenge 25 & Don’t Pass It On)

-Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) agreed to “adopt” an off licence each to build up good relations, ensure consistency of signage and increase intelligence flow

• Increased access to diversionary activity especially for underprivileged children.
For example:
– Sunderland Association Football Club engaged in raising awareness of alcohol harms as well
as providing free sessions for 8-16 year olds
– East Durham Homes engaged and contributed match funding for youth activities

• Alcohol education offered in a variety of ways depending on schools’ preferences e.g. social
norms work, AET secondary school programme, Theatre in Education “drop down days”,
PTA Evenings and Open Days

Stay Safe seizures

• “Operation Staysafe” – joint police/CAP partner patrols on selected nights of the year when ASB
is expected to peak. Any under 18s found with alcohol or under the influence are taken to a designated place of safety (usually the school) where the child’s parents/guardians are notified, asked to collect their child and follow up actions are agreed to ensure future safety of the child. 

Impact of CAP: 

The evaluations of the pilot CAPs in Stanley and Peterlee, showed unequivocally positive
outcomes across a range of key objectives. For example:

• The number of seizures of alcohol from individuals in locations where vulnerable young people
tend to present have, after an initial peak, declined

• Where seizures have been made, the early intervention by CAP patrols resulted in a marked
reduction in associated anti-social behaviour when compared to the rest of the County (37.2%
in CAP areas compared to 8.8% in control areas). This would tend to suggest that alcohol is
being seized before drunkenness is prevalent and the individual/ community suffers any resultant harm

• The number of ‘repeat seizures’ from individuals remains encouragingly low

• The number and frequency of attempted underage and proxy purchases has declined

• Service demand on 4Real (local youth services) following seizures was extremely heavy
(increase of 573%) and there are capacity issues to be addressed across Durham that will need
to be resolved and have funding implications



Being part of the CAP has brought recognition from the community that we are trying to stop underage drinking. We have also seen a significant decline in attempted under age- purchases and litter has significantly dropped around our premises. I believe that the Midsomer Norton CAP is led with a passion that I have not seen before in a local venture.

Paul Broad
Store Manager Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd