Ian Murray MP presenting the CAP award for 'Excellence in Education' to Sgt Barry Mercer, Police Scotland.

SE Edinburgh CAP received the award for ‘Excellence in Education’ at an event at Westminster on June 27.

The partnership was launched in 2021 to tackle underage drinking in the local area and was praised at the awards event for its work educating young people in local secondary schools about the risks of underage drinking.

Presentations on alcohol awareness have been delivered to hundreds of High School students and recent surveys with pupils show that there have been reductions in the weekly drinking levels of 13 – 16 year olds.

Other initiatives include:

  • Working with teachers and the Alcohol Education Trust, interactive sessions to encourage young people about the facts about alcohol and the importance of making informed decisions have taken place.
  • Parents and carers have been given education packs with information on when to have a conversation about alcohol and speak the right message at the right age.
  • Information stalls have been used across the area at busy locations such as in the Cameron Toll and Waverley Mall shopping arcades.  

SE Edinburgh CAP Co-ordinator Sg Barry Mercer comments:

“I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of the Edinburgh SE CAP. Education and working with young people has been at the forefront of our CAP. By creating an effective partnership with local schools, third sector agencies and youth clubs we have been able to have consistent open and honest conversations with young people about underage drinking.”
“So many partners have contributed to our CAP and I would particularly like to thank staff and pupils at James Gillespies, St Thomas of Aquins, Liberton and Gracemount High Schools, 6VT and Open All Hours youth clubs for their assistance and cooperation. It has been great to work with you all and I look forward the CAP continuing to improve with exciting new opportunities”

Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South presented the CAP with its award. He commented:

“The South East Edinburgh CAP has been transformative in the way the community views alcohol and the interventions the team have been able to make. Having a cross disciplinary approach to dealing with alcohol in the community makes a huge difference with tangible results. I pay tribute to all involved but especially, Sgt Barry Mercer and his local team. A well-deserved reward for all their hard work, dedication and results.”

About CAP

There are currently over 250 CAP partnerships in England, Scotland and Wales They bring together local stakeholders with a shared interest in preventing underage drinking and encouraging responsible drinking among young adults. CAP partnerships are made up of retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to protect young people from alcohol harm.

CAP’s annual report, launched at the event, shows how this innovative partnership approach has led to significant reductions to children’s and young people’s drinking, anti-social behaviour and underage sales in areas where it has created local partnerships.

Nationally, CAP evaluations show:

  • 64% reduction in weekly drinking for 13-16 year olds
  • After CAP training, 98% of retailers passed a Challenge 25 compliance test – from an average baseline of 52%
  • 42% reduction in anti-social behaviour
  • 40% reduction in residents reporting children and young people drinking in public places to be a very big or fairly big problem

CAP Director Kate Winstanley says:

“I’m delighted that in CAP areas around the country we are seeing such sustained reductions in regular drinking and anti-social behaviour among young people. CAPs are having a significant impact on reducing children’s alcohol consumption, improving their health and wellbeing and enhancing the communities where they live.”

https://www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk/images/ CAP_Annual_Review_2022-23_-_digitalFINAL.pdf