New partnership launched to tackle under-age drinking

A new partnership is being set up in Alnwick to help tackle under-age drinking and warn young people about the dangers of alcohol.

Friday, 13th May 2016, 3:09 pm
Updated Friday, 13th May 2016, 4:15 pm
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The Alnwick Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) is launching on Tuesday and will bring together a range of partners, including local retailers and licensees, councillors, police, health services, housing providers and schools to tackle the problem of under-age drinking and associated anti-social behaviour.

The objectives for Alnwick are to: Reduce youth-related anti-social behaviour associated with alcohol consumption;

*Improve the health of young people so they are aware of the consequences and risks associated with drinking alcohol and to support those agencies whose role it is to work with young people to do this;

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*Improve general understanding of safe drinking limits and the law relating to the sale of alcohol to young people;

*Develop a responsible retailing ethos and effective partnership approach in the CAP area.

The pilot was set up after agencies realised most of this work is already ongoing, but by a number of different organisations, and by bringing it under a CAP, organisers could tap into more funding and resource opportunities.

So far across the country nearly 100 CAPs have been set up and the Alnwick CAP will also cover the surrounding areas of Rothbury and Amble.

The initiative is being coordinated under the Safer Northumberland partnership, with key input from Northumbria Police and the council’s public protection service.

Safer Northumberland partnership chairman county councillor Liz Simpson said: "While Alnwick doesn’t have particular issues with alcohol, by pooling resources agencies can take a more coordinated approach.

"We’re already working with local retailers to educate them about the dangers of under-age or proxy sales and working with schools to deliver education and support for young people."

Northumbria Police Alnwick Neighbourhood Inspector, Paul Truscott said: "This is an excellent opportunity to work together with our specialist partners to crackdown on all issues relating to alcohol disorder.

"It isn't just about patrolling streets and catching those committing alcohol-related offences. It is about early intervention, education and enforcement.

"It's an all-encompassing approach between the police and partners. Together, we all bring our areas of expertise to provide an all-in-one service to tackle alcohol issues."

Derek Lewis, the national chairman of Community Alcohol Partnerships, added: "I’m delighted at the launch of a Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) in Alnwick. Community Alcohol Partnerships are a tried and tested way of driving down under-age drinking and creating better, safer and friendlier neighbourhoods. Locally tailored partnerships, that recognise that retailers and licensees are an important part of the solution, have been shown to be highly effective in driving down harm."