Partnership work by the council and police has resulted in a 62 per cent drop in alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour (ASB) by young people in Mile End, research shows.
A Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) to tackle underage drinking by giving young people new employment opportunities and leisure activities was set up following residents’ concerns about problem behaviour in Mile End.
The CAP used the council’s employment service to create training and employment opportunities, it stepped up work with local schools and youth centres to raise awareness about substance misuse issues and youngsters from the borough’s youth council carried out test purchasing of alcohol so trading standards could enforce against retail outlets selling alcohol to anyone underage.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:
“This scheme was a good piece of targeted work which tackled some of the underlying causes of anti-social behaviour, providing training and jobs through our employment scheme.
“The council carries out enforcement work to deal with anti-social behaviour, but we also need to look at what we can do to steer people away from doing this in the first place.
“I was pleased to see anti-social behaviour dropped by nearly two-thirds following the pilot and look forward to seeing if other partnership initiatives work equally well in other parts of the borough”.
Mile End resident Tania Nalywajko said:
“I was at my wits end with gangs of about 50 young men drinking and shouting outside my house every night. It was really frightening.
“it’s been a real battle to get them involved, but bringing all the different agencies to work together has made all the difference.
“The young people don’t hang about on the streets so much and people are using the park more too.”
Councillor Asma Begum, Cabinet Member for Community Safety added:
“This partnership project included work by the council, police, retailers, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers and shows the difference we can make by working together.
“It is great that residents now feel that the streets are safer and the park is less subject to anti-social behaviour, so a good resource for local families.”
Evaluation of the project showed that numbers of underage young people drinking in public had reduced by 75 per cent. Alcohol related ASB located around Mile End Park went down by 52.4% and although public drinking still takes place on weekdays and weekends, it has reduced by 28.6%.
Residents can contact the dedicated WorkPath telephone number on 020 7364 0626, email or visit the WorkPath website at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/workpath
1. CAP aims to prevent underage drinking and the harm it causes in local communities by supporting communities to set up local CAPs in areas where there is evidence of an underage drinking problem.
2. CAP schemes are managed and delivered locally through partnerships between local authorities, police, retailers, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers. CAP believes that empowering communities in this way, with local stakeholders working together to provide tailor-made solutions to underage drinking in their areas, is an extremely powerful and effective way to protect children from alcohol harm and create better and safer neighbourhoods. www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk
3. The evaluation report can be seen here: http://bit.ly/2w52uW5
4. Following his election as Mayor of Tower Hamlets in 2015, John Biggs set out a set of four key priorities, including ensuring that all residents share in the borough’s growth and can access the job market.