Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Community Alcohol Partnership Launches in Lancaster

A Community Alcohol Partnership - the first in Lancashire - is to be launched in Lancaster this month in the Bulk Ward area to tackle underage drinking and anti-social behaviour.

CAPs are made up of partnerships between retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to empower communities to tackle alcohol-related harm to young people and improve the quality of life for residents.

They aim to reduce the sale of alcohol to under 18's, advise them on the dangers of drinking and provide alcohol-free activities through youth services and local charities.

Across the country CAPs have had outstanding impacts on local crime, anti-social behaviour, litter, feelings of safety and reductions in underage purchasing of alcohol.

By the end of 2016 there were 124 local CAPs across the country and local partners’ evaluations show that on average, in CAP areas alcohol-related youth anti-social behaviour fell by 40%, confiscations (police seizures) of alcohol from under 18s drinking in public fell by 85% and attempted purchase of alcohol by under 18s fell by 75%.

Attempted “proxy purchase” of alcohol by adults on behalf of children also fell significantly (ranging from 41% - 65%).

The Lancaster CAP will bring together a wide range of stakeholders, including Trading Standards, Police, Ridge Community Centre, local retailers, primary and high schools, local agencies, Police and Crime commissioner and the community.

County Councillor Azhar Ali, the county councils cabinet member for health and well-being said: “There is growing concern about the levels of underage drinking in Lancaster among local residents, councillors and retailers, so I am delighted to announce the introduction of the Lancaster (Bulk Ward) CAP to tackle alcohol-related harm in the area.

"Drinking alcohol at a young age brings serious risks to children’s health and development and puts them in danger of both physical and social harm. They are far more likely to injure themselves or someone else, engage in unsafe sex, fail to reach their potential at school and engage in anti-social behaviour. We are committed to making a positive difference to their lives and to our local community.”

CAP Chair Derek Lewis said: “A significant proportion of children have not only drunk alcohol before the age of 18 but are likely to have been drunk at least once in the last four weeks. This can be seriously damaging to their health and development and impact negatively on the wider community.

"CAPs offer a great opportunity to make a real and lasting difference to our nation’s relationship with alcohol, starting with the current generation of young people.”

• The formal launch of the Lancaster CAP, the first in Lancashire, will take place at the Ridge Community Centre, 2-4 The Square, Lancaster on Thursday 26th January 2017 at 1pm. The chair of the national CAP Derek Lewis will speak at the event and everyone in the area is invited to come along and pledge their support to help make the community a safer place

Find out more about Community Alcohol Partnerships here

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