Tuesday 19 December saw the launch of a Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) in Cumbernauld, to highlight the risks of underage drinking and improve the health and wellbeing of local young people. As part of the work in the community, local people are being asked for their views on crime and anti-social through a series of surveys which can be completed anonymously online. This will help the police and other agencies to better understand the experience of local people in the area, making communities safer and protecting young people from harm.

The information will be used to identify priorities for the newly formed CAP which aims to work with youth services and local organisations to provide alcohol-free activities for young people. It will also work to educate young people about underage drinking and ensure that they are equipped to make the right decisions about issues such as alcohol, drugs and anti-social and criminal behaviour. Working with local retailers, the CAP also aims to prevent underage sales and ‘proxy’ sales, where adults buy alcohol for under-18s. The activity of the local CAP will be co-ordinated by community officers based at Cumbernauld Police Office.

Inspector Barry Maguire, who is based at Cumbernauld, believes that a CAP will allow partners to promote a health and wellbeing message to young people, allowing them to be better informed about the harm that alcohol can cause. Inspector Maguire said:

“We already have a CAP running in Kilsyth and the aim was always to extend it into Cumbernauld. As a first step we will be gathering some baseline information from young people and retailers in the area using surveys that will be carried out online and in person”.

“We also know that underage drinking can impact on the whole community, so it’s important that we hear from local people and again we will do this through a survey. We’ll roll out the CAP in Cumbernauld in stages, but initially we’ll focus on Abronhill, Carbrain and Kildrum and that’s why I’m encouraging anyone in these areas to share their views by completing the anonymous online survey”.

The residents’ survey be found at the following link and will also be publicised within the local community using a QR code. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9QLVGSX

Kate Winstanley, Director of CAP added: "I am always pleased to see the launch of new partnerships. We know from research that underage drinking can lead to many social and educational problems for children and young people. We also know from our evaluations that CAPs are having a significant impact on reducing alcohol consumption amongst 13- and 16-year-olds in in the areas in which they operate. Local CAP schemes are established and run by people from a variety of organisations within their communities, including retailers, local authorities, police forces and schools to identify and tackle the problems associated with underage drinking. All CAPs are tailored to the needs of their local community which means that they are highly effective in getting to the root cause of the problem."

For media information please contact: Samantha Patel, Communications Manager: sam@communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk