Since 2017, we have encouraged CAPs to include within their action plans an objective to promote moderate/safe drinking for their young adult (18-25) demographic, especially in areas with student populations.

Whilst the core focus of CAP’s work remains prevention of underage drinking, we would also like more CAP partnerships to seek to reduce alcohol harm among young adults.


Where local partnership are in towns or areas with a sizeable young adult population, for example, where there are universities or further education colleges, CAP partnerships may wish to set up a workstream or action plan with a focus on reducing harm for young adults. This work is separate to their action plan to tackle underage drinking as their aims and objectives will be different which remain focused on harm reduction rather than prevention of underage drinking.

In a wider context, in England and Wales, all local authorities and police forces have been tasked with a duty to reduce violent crime as set out in the recently produce guidance on Serious Violence Duty (published December 2022). There is also a Government strategy for tackling violence against women and girls. CAP’s work supports both these strategies and helps both councils and police to deliver on key priorities.



All action plans are based on three key pillars namely:

Alcohol education
Provision of positive activities
Responsible retail strategies

Since 2017, we have also encouraged CAPs to include an objective around moderate/safe drinking for 18-25 year olds.  

Local CAP schemes are established and run by people from a variety of organisations within their communities, including retailers, to identify and tackle the problems associated with alcohol consumption by young people.  

Best Practice Suggestions

Student-led Activity

As best practice, CAPs focus on how to communicate alcohol education and personal safety messages via materials, both digital and print, that are developed locally utilising the creative skills of media/design students. There is particular emphasis on utilising trusted sources of information such as student union apps, webpages and place messages on digital screens in relevant places, e.g. through Student Unions and SU bars.

Police-led Activity

Given their role around enforcement of laws to alcohol related crime and anti-social behaviour, police are well placed to lead on such initiatives for CAPs. Priorities are set by local police forces and their role within CAPs can range from leading on co-ordinating anti drink-spiking campaigns to the provision of data on crime and anti-social behaviour for CAP evaluation.

Hospitality-led Activity

Hospitality venues always need to be safe environments where personal safety is given high priority. Working within CAPs, the hospitality sector has devised many initiatives from offering vulnerability training for door staff and bar staff in all Night Time Economy (NTE) venues e.g. via Licensing SAVI, and WAVE, to employing trained ambassadors or hosts in NTE settings (uni bars, clubs and pubs) who can personally deliver safer drinking advice and carry out alcohol brief interventions such as Drink Rethink.

Health Partners

CAP has worked with students to oversee the accuracy of any health messaging to ensure it is aligned to the right CMO guidance and to ensure that it signposts to local support services comprehensively and appropriately. Training and support for student welfare officers has been provided along with working with all partners to support any initiative where medical supervision is administered in safe spaces or safety buses.

Retailers (Off-trade & Other Retailers)

Working with retailers in a variety of fields from off-trade to pharmacies, CAP has worked to develop best practice methods with them. Over time, a range of best practice methods has emerged from providing space on the premises for b banners and posters on alcohol aisles to support local campaigns and CAP initiatives to the provision of a safe space if a store opens late and its size allows for it.