As Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) celebrates 10 successful years of local partnerships to tackle underage drinking, it has announced plans to double the number of CAPs around the country and extend its remit to provide continued support as children become young adults.
Its 2017 impact report, launched at Westminster on October 10, 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.
The report brings together evidence of outstanding positive impacts on crime, anti-social behaviour, litter, residents' feelings of safety and underage/proxy purchasing - changes that improve the quality of life for the public and reduce harm to young people.
• An 80% reduction in alcohol seizures from young people in Edinburgh
• A 39% reduction in alcohol-related youth anti-social behaviour in Brecon
• An 80% reduction in youth disorder in Tower Hamlets
• In Todmorden, West Yorkshire, only 21% of residents reported underage drinking as being a fairly or very big problem after the CAP was set up compared to 60% before the CAP
• Corby, Northamptonshire saw a 27% decrease in calls to the police about alcohol-related anti-social behaviour by young people
• Since the Airedale, Ferry Fryston and Townville CAP in Wakefield was set up in 2014, alcohol-related anti-social behaviour incidents have declined year on year: 2014: 724 incidents; 2015: 516 incidents; 2016: 466 incidents
• At the Alnwick CAP in Northumberland only 5% of residents reported underage drinking as being a fairly or very big problem after the CAP was set up compared to 50% before the CAP
• The Reading CAP in Berkshire saw a decline in test purchase failures from 72% in January 2015 to 17% in August 2016
• At the Sutton in Ashfield CAP, Nottinghamshire, the percentage of Year 9-11s drinking on a weekly basis fell from 31% to 26% (Year 1) and 13.19% (Year Two)
• And at Wantage and Grove CAP in Oxfordshire the percentage of Year 9-11s who do not drink at all increased from 17% to 25%
• Regular retailer surveys show that in CAP areas there have been significant reductions in attempted proxy purchase (where adults attempt to buy alcohol for young people) of up to 65%
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.”
As CAP enters its second decade it plans to achieve near universal coverage of CAPs in all areas of the UK with above average underage alcohol harms, including the Government’s recently announced second round of Local Alcohol Action Areas.
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
• 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.