Community Alcohol Partnerships in Kent win two national awards for tackling underage drinking
Neil Butcher of Kent Trading Standards has won a national award for his work tackling underage drinking.
He received the Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) Award for Outstanding Contribution from Craig Mackinlay MP for South Thanet at the Westminster launch of the CAP 2017 Impact Report on October 10.
Craig Mackinlay said: “I am delighted that Neil Butcher has won the CAP Award for his Outstanding Contribution. I’ve seen first-hand how tirelessly Neil has worked to launch new CAPs in Ramsgate and Broadstairs this year, signing up businesses and schools and bringing together a wide range of partners, including local councils, police, fire and rescue services, schools, retailers and the community, all working to tackle underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour in the area. In the run-up to the launch, over 400 pupils aged 14-17 were surveyed regarding their drinking habits, revealing that a quarter of them had been drunk in the previous four weeks. Neil’s determination to combat this is outstanding.”
Another Kent winner was Snodland CAP which was highly commended for its work in tackling underage drinking and anti-social behaviour in the town.
Alison Finch, Stronger and Safer Communities Manager at Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and a key member of the CAP, received the award from Susan Morgan, Impact and Quality Manager, Wales Audit Office and CAP Board Director.
Susan Morgan said: “Snodland CAP has been an active partnership since 2012 and truly demonstrates the effectiveness of proactive working. When it began, rates of anti-social behaviour were high for this small area and CAP partners worked hard to reduce underage drinking. However last year saw a sudden increase in reports of young people causing disturbances. The CAP stepped up its work and began to meet more frequently to come up with new actions to stop the problems before they grew.”
Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham and Aylesford, said: “I’ve visited the Snodland Community Alcohol Partnership and seen first-hand how successfully it is tackling underage drinking while supporting responsible retailing of alcohol. The CAP has forged great relationships with the community and retailers and partnered with the Co-op to run a series of campaigns to highlight the issue of proxy purchasing – when adults attempt to buy alcohol for youngsters. Thanks to the CAP rowdy and nuisance gatherings in the area have reduced significantly.”
CAP’s 2017 impact report shows how local CAPs are empowering communities by bringing together retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to tackle underage drinking and improve the quality of life for residents. CAP has now announced plans to double the number of CAPs around the country and extend its remit to provide continued support as children become young adults.
National CAP Chair Derek Lewis said: “CAPs offer an evidence-based and locally tailored response to underage alcohol problems. Our targeted approach means that we bring effective national programmes to areas with greatest harms. It is clear from the compelling body of evidence presented in this report that CAPs are making a tangible positive difference to young people, residents and local communities.”
MP Fiona Bruce, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm, said: “It is absolutely vital that we protect young people from the devastating effects of alcohol harm. British children are more likely to binge drink or get drunk than children in most other European countries. This brings serious risks to their health and development and impacts on a wide range of issues, from underperformance at school and later exclusion from the job market, to mental ill health, sexual exploitation, homelessness and imprisonment. I very much welcome CAP’s joined-up, partnership approach to addressing this issue.”
For media information please contact: Julia Shipston, Communications Manager at CAP: tel: 0771 3163003.
Notes for Editors
• Photographs of Craig Mackinlay MP and Neil Butcher plus Susan Morgan and Alison Finch and attached.
• In 2014, 38% of 11-15 year olds in England had drunk alcohol. This continued the downward trend since 2003, when 61% of pupils had drunk alcohol.1 However 4% said they drank alcohol at least once a week and a further 5% said they drank once a fortnight.2
• Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) schemes are set up to tackle underage drinking and the resulting harm to local communities. All schemes are managed and delivered locally via partnerships between local authorities, police, retailers, schools and neighbourhood groups and health providers, offering a flexible model tailored to fit the needs of each community. All schemes incorporate a mixture of education, enforcement, community engagement and the provision of diversionary activities for young people.
• CAP is a community interest company (CIC), funded by major retailers who share its concerns about underage drinking. Current funders include: Aldi, ASDA, ACS, Brown Forman, Co-op, Diageo, Heineken, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Molson Coors, One Stop, Sainsbury’s, SHS Drinks, Tesco and Waitrose. We are also grateful to the Welsh Government which provided £15,000 towards the establishment of three new CAPs in Wales.
• The first CAP was set up in St Neots in 2007. Between 2014 and 2016 the number of CAPs more than doubled and there are now 150 across the UK.
1 Statistics on Alcohol, Health and Social Care Information Centre, published 30 June 2016.
2 Data intelligence summary: Alcohol consumption and harm among under 18 year olds, Public Health England, published July 2016.