Welcome to Community Alcohol Partnerships

Supporting the health and wellbeing of young adults

Cardiff has four large universities with local campuses: Cardiff University, Cardiff Met and the University of South Wales, and the Royal Wales College of Music and Dance.

The Cardiff CAP was set up in 2018 - the first to address alcohol use in the student population - working alongside representatives from the universities and college, students’ unions, the police, Cardiff Council, the Cardiff and Vale Local Public Health Team and FOR Cardiff, and the night-time economy. It is chaired by Lauren Idowu, Principal Health Promotion Specialist in the Cardiff and Vale Public Health Team and Ian Tumelty, Business Crime Reduction Manager with FOR Cardiff Business Improvement District and co-ordinator of the Cardiff Business Partnership Night-Time Economy Group.

When the local Public Health Team looked at admissions to the Alcohol Treatment Centre, they could see the largest proportion (58%) was among the 18-24 age group. They set out to reduce anti-social behaviour, alcohol-related violence and health risks from high levels of intoxication among students.

The first step was to carry out a baseline survey to find out where students were drinking, and what their motivation was. Emerging best practice from Cardiff CAP This found that most alcohol consumption took place in student houses, bars and clubs – and that it was mostly to socialise with other students, to adhere to social norms as a student and sometimes to help with stress and anxiety. 79% of those surveyed felt that intoxicated or drunk students created problems with other residents in their areas and while an encouraging 72% of students felt there were good options to socialise with and without alcohol, 86% thought there could be more alcohol-free social activities.

The Cardiff CAP worked closely with partners to bring together existing initiatives, leading to the creation of a bank of resources; help points set up across the city and a safety bus service provided by South Wales Police and supported by student volunteers on busy nights to ensure students get home safely. Vulnerability training has been developed for Street Pastors, door staff and other members of the night[1]time economy and also for Residence Life Assistants – existing students who provide support to new undergraduates. Cardiff City Centre is also accredited by the Purple Flag scheme, which works to help create safe and thriving locations at night for all users.

Other initiatives from the universities have included:

  • Provision of no/low alcohol alternatives including mocktails, water and soft drinks especially at events during Freshers’ Week
  • Inclusion of information about local welfare and support services on student apps e.g. SafeZone app, NHS Student Health app, SU app
  • Using social norms to reinforce positive behaviour in all communications work

A sub-group of the CAP (consisting of public health and students on placement in the team) was set up to:

  • Engage with students to design and develop digital and hard-copy alcohol messages to reduce harm
  • Create clear, effective messages and designs that young people can relate to
  • Identify key locations for dissemination/display of messages

Moderation’ activities are now being piloted for students at student union sites where alcohol is available but not the focus of activity and where a good choice of alcohol-free options is available.

Lauren and Ian gave a presentation to CAP’s 18-25 webinar in March 2022, which discussed CAP’s partnership approach to reducing alcohol harm among young adults. The webinar brought together some brilliant speakers who addressed a wide range of issues, from drink spiking to the Women’s Night Safety Charter. If you missed it, a recording is available on our YouTube channel.

 
Engaging young people in our work

In Reading, our CAP co-ordinator Tessa Brunsden offered a day’s work experience to young people who wanted to learn more about the role that trading standards departments play in enforcing laws around age restricted products like alcohol and tobacco.

It was also a great opportunity for them to understand how important retailers are in upholding these laws and protecting young people and the community. She spent a day with the 15 and 16 year olds, describing her work for trading standards, public health and CAP, before they headed out to the town centre together to carry out some test purchases from a shop.

The youngsters were supervised at all times and if they were able to successfully make a purchase, were accompanied away from the scene while follow up conversations were held with the retailer.

The exercise prompted a great discussion and provided valuable feedback to Tessa. She says: “The young people really understood the need for and importance of what we were trying to achieve through test purchasing. It also gave me a chance to hear about some of the challenges they face and the experiences they have of seeing peers use underage products, which was insightful and useful for my work.” There was such a good response to Tessa's offer of a work experience day that she is already planning more.
 
Edinburgh – a city-wide approach

Key to CAP’s success is that we support local communities to create strong partnerships that identify local problems of underage and young adult drinking and design and manage their own action plans.

In Edinburgh, CAPs covering the whole of the city have made great connections with retailers, schools, the local authority and councillors, MPs, community groups, youth clubs and even the army - to investigate the use of its assault course by local young people.

All the CAPs also come together to exchange best practice and ideas, for “Weeks of Action” and to make sure CAP is represented at popular community events. They use a range of educational resources to reach young people who are at risk of turning to alcohol, as well as getting messages out to adults who might be providing it to them.

Especially popular have been a visit by a Hibernian footballer to Leith Academy to talk about healthy lifestyles and the use of videos by famous You-tubers including Joe Suggs’ inspiring short film on the importance of avoiding peer pressure to drink. In the North East of the City, Police Scotland wanted to target local hotspots known for underage drinking and engage with the young people gathering there. They tried an innovative approach – identifying online educational resources and converting them into strategically placed QR codes so youngsters could tap in and access information.

Officers work with Trading Standards to visit local off-licence premises, providing staff with posters, badges and window vinyls, while identifying any premises that might be selling alcohol to young people.

They provide training workshops and make joint patrols with Scotmid store security staff in areas where underage drinking, alcohol theft or proxy purchase – where adults attempt to buy alcohol on behalf of youngsters - are particular issues for the stores.

As part of its ‘It’ll cost you’ campaign warning against proxy purchase, the CAP held an event at a local retail centre, where a Halloween themed stall was set up with decorations and treats to attract members of the public and encourage them to talk about issues related to underage drinking.

It also organised two events around Bonfire Night, when there is often significant disorder. It worked with the SCRAN Academy, a catering social enterprise which supports disadvantaged young people, to provide hot food and drinks, leading to a significant decrease in calls to the police about anti-social behaviour. Police officers were able to engage more effectively with young people on the street and diffuse any issues at an early stage. They said even the ‘cool kids’ wanted to visit the van – and it was so popular it ran out of food!

 
Providing positive activities

Hynburn outreach vanWe’ve found that engaging young people in meaningful and enjoyable activities in the company of a positive peer group is an important step in addressing underage drinking and anti-social behaviour. CAP is able to offer grant funding to increase the positive activities available to young people. Often, just a little support can go a long way in reducing alcohol harm and anti-social behaviour.

Our funding has enabled some inventive projects, like mobile floodlights to continue youth outreach work in Fylde over the winter; beer goggles for events in North Yorkshire to simulate the experience of being drunk; and goal nets and football kits for the Gateside Hub in Edinburgh - an extremely deprived area which suffers from high levels of underage drinking, anti-social behaviour and a lack of positive activities for young people.

In Hyndburn, we supported a project run from a specially modified mobile van, in an area of Accrington with high levels of alcohol and substance misuse and anti-social behaviour, where young people needed a safe space to come together, socialise and discuss their concerns.

The van enabled it to go right into the heart of the community and act as gateway to additional support for those children and young people who might need it.

Young people who became involved in the project might already have been experimenting or regularly using drugs and alcohol, so sessions focussing on the consequences of their behaviour helped them understand what is acceptable and what is not and support them to make changes.

Project workers arranged quizzes, discussions and games and the young people designed and created their own ‘chatterboxes’ on issues that emerged. Many of the young people involved said there were few activities for them in the area, and they were often bored, especially in the school holidays.

Asked what they’d like to do, they said they’d love to get more involved with football, so project workers arranged to take them to sessions run by Active Lancashire at nearby Accrington Stanley FC. This was so popular that after three weeks, the youngsters decided to continue and make their own way there. The project was evaluated using the teen star outcomes model which allowed the team to identify young people who needed additional support with issues such as anger or behavioural problems, or those experiencing difficulty within the family home.

 
Getting our messages out to all young people

Henry Maybury at Catterick Garrison croppedAs well as engaging young people in schools, colleges and universities, we know that there are many of the same age in military establishments around the UK that we need to reach too.

We arranged for singer/songwriter Henry Maybury to visit the Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire - the largest British Army garrison in the world. Henry provides great support to CAPs throughout the UK, performing, speaking and attending events to share his story and music and deliver a powerful and emotive message about the dangers of alcohol.

His hit song ‘Lost Days’ was written in tribute to his brother, who died from an alcohol related illness at just 29 years old. We were delighted when the young soldiers agreed to help us get proxy purchase messages out to the local community in Richmond. These temporary chalk-based stencils provide a stark warning that buying alcohol for under 18s is an offence and act as a powerful deterrent on pavements in town centres and outside shops.

 
Young Health Champions in West Cumbria

West cumbria yhc

We were pleased to see a large cohort of young people in West Cumbria given the opportunity to become Young Health Champions with the skills and confidence to become peer mentors and deliver positive health messages to other young people.

This innovative course provides a valuable level 2 qualification equivalent to a GCSE. In an evaluation from West Cumbria, we were delighted to see the difference it made to young people’s lives, helping them make their own informed lifestyle choices and gain the confidence to present health campaign messages.

Fourteen young people from Netherhall School, Maryport applied to take part in the first course there, and it was so successful that the following year, 14 more joined. A further 10 young people from West Lakes Academy in Egremont applied to gain the qualification.

The course had four modules, delivered by the Cumbria Alcohol and Drug Advisory Service (CADAS), which works closely with CAPs in West Cumbria:

  • Principles of health improvement
  • Research health improvement services
  • Deliver a health campaign message
  • Understanding alcohol misuse

Among the champions’ activities were popular alcohol awareness presentations to their peers, engaging in Alcohol Awareness Week and attending local community events. They’re now keen to find new ways of getting their health messages out to fellow pupils and the wider community. There were lots of challenges along the way for these young people: some were off school due to COVID but CADAS was able to maintain contact with support from the schools, extra tutor time and a WhatsApp group.

In a survey, pupils reported enhanced communication, teamwork, empathy, leadership, organisation and public speaking. 100% said taking part had improved their knowledge of healthy behaviour, while 80% said the programme had helped them to develop new skills. 73% now felt comfortable talking about health and wellbeing with their peers and more than half said they had since made changes to their lifestyle to improve their health and wellbeing.

Some comments were:

  • “Fun, amazing, knowledgeable, enjoyable and comfortable”
  • “I now understand how alcohol can affect you”
  • “I have learned all about units and effects on the body”
  • “Learned how long alcohol takes to wear off”
  • “This could be very helpful for people who need help”
  • “It was great in helping me to learn about alcohol and helped boost my confidence”

Jen Marrs, Community Adult & Young People’s Worker at CADAS, said: “Delivering the Young Health Champions training has been a great experience in supporting young people to achieve their full potential. Providing the young people with an opportunity to enhance their own mental and physical health and wellbeing has enabled them to gain the confidence to deliver a health campaign message to their peers and the wider community. These young health champions should be very pleased with what they have accomplished and gaining the courage to step out of their comfort zones in presenting their campaign.”

 
Sharing best practice

During Alcohol Awareness Week 2021 we were delighted to hold CAP’s first ever best practice webinar: Reducing alcohol harm amongst young people. It brought together a wide range of experts to discuss how CAP helps tackle underage drinking and why its focus on providing alcohol education, working with retailers and delivering positive activities for young people is so successful.

Speakers included Joy Allen, PCC for Durham and joint lead for alcohol and substance misuse, who described how CAP functions as a catalyst for effective local partnerships; CEO of Northern Ambitions Academies Trust and CAP Board director, Liz Fairhurst, who spoke about CAP’s role in education and how it fits with the PSHE curriculum; and Chris Simes, Director of Collingwood Learning, who spoke about the award-winning alcohol education programme ‘Smashed’ and its film-based e-learning course.

We work closely with Salus in Kent which supports children, young people and families, and Youth Services Manager Roxanne Frost described the wide range of activities offered, from yoga to bicycle maintenance. James Lowman, Chief Executive of the Association of Convenience Stores and Neil Eccles, Senior Licensing Manager at ASDA, discussed the vital role that retailers play in CAP.

If you would like to watch a recording of the webinar, it’s available on our YouTube channel.
 
Reaching out to parents

Castleford CAP – taking a long-term, preventative approach

CAP’s focus on alcohol education is part of a long-term, preventative approach to ensure that young people are equipped with the skills and knowledge to stay safe from alcohol harms. Airedale Academy School is a secondary school and sixth form in Castleford in West Yorkshire that works closely with its local CAP to implement effective, evaluated alcohol education programmes and to engage with parents and carers to talk about alcohol issues.

CAP offers the Alcohol Education Trust (AET) ‘Talk about Alcohol’ programme across all projects. This resource comes in a hard copy and in a digital download and has a series of lesson plans and BAFTA award winning videos. The efficacy of Talk About Alcohol was independently evaluated by The National Foundation for Education Research (NFER)23 among 4000 children in 30 schools over 2 years (2011-13) with a follow up 2 years later (2015) and was found to significantly delay the age that children choose to begin drinking whole drinks – an effect that got stronger over time. It was also rated 3/3 for impact and 5/6 for quality of evaluation by the Centre for Analysis of Youth Transitions (CAYT)24 and has been selected by The Early Foundation Intervention Foundation as one of the 100 best early intervention programmes worldwide. The Academy is committed to engaging with parents and carers and has arranged multiple visits by the AET to speak at parents’ evenings to highlight the risks and issues around underage drinking to parents as well as training teachers to deliver their programme effectively

In addition to its regular alcohol awareness sessions the partnership supports the school to organise special events including:

  • Smashed: a powerful drama-based programme delivered live and online by Collingwood Learning. This encourages youngsters to resist peer pressure and make safe choices around alcohol: 
  • Engaging presentations from speakers and performers such as singer/songwriter Henry Maybury, who tours schools to share his music and the experience of losing his older brother Tom from alcohol related illness. Henry’s moving story about the dangers of alcohol abuse gets a powerful message across to young audiences.
  • CAP Ambassadors – a group of students chosen by teachers to be peer educators for the Academy and support initiatives to reduce alcohol consumption.

A highlight of the education programme was a play devised by Airedale Academy’s sixth form performing arts students on the subject of alcohol and teenage domestic abuse/partner violence. The play was shown to all year 8 and 9 students along with accompanying workshops. It was considered so good that the Wakefield District Domestic Abuse and Safeguarding Team requested repeat performances at five of their training workshops for headteachers and other professionals. The play was widely praised as an example of good practice as a peer educator project and has has since been turned into a filmed resource, The Sound of Silence25, used across educational settings in West Yorkshire. In response to the finding from school surveys in the area that parents are the most common source of alcohol for children and young people, Spectrum Community Health CiC, a key partner in Castleford CAP, produced a leaflet for parents Young People & Alcohol – a Guide for Parents26 in November 2021.

“The CAP has been a massive benefit to Airedale Academy students and the wider local community. It has given students the tools and information needed in order to make informed choices surrounding alcohol in a fun and educational way. This has led to a reduction in not only the amount of alcohol students in the school community drink, but also the age they begin drinking. The CAP always looks at the needs of the school. It has always been student focused which enables the pupils to make their own opinions and choices in a more educated and informed way,” Elizabeth Fairhurst CEO, Northern Ambition Academies Trust

Outside school the CAP has helped to fund and promote a wide range of positive activities for children and young people including a pop-up café following an audit which showed that young people felt there was little for them to do in the area. Youth workers have engaged with young people on the street and in public places and signposted them to positive leisure activities including a programme called “Try Sports”. In the first year of its involvement with CAP, students were asked to complete a questionnaire at the start of the academic year and again towards the end. This was designed to assess their understanding of alcohol and the potential harms of underage drinking. These surveys have been conducted at the school every year since then and show a clear reduction in the number of students drinking alcohol.

Lancashire CAPs - Where’s the Harm? Campaign

78% of children surveyed in Lancashire who drink alcohol say they are given it by their parents and 65% of young people drink at home when their parents are supervising (2020). CAPs across the county have worked closely with Lancashire County Council to develop and run the Where’s the harm? campaign, which aims to:

  • Increase parental preparedness and acceptance of responsibility to monitor, supervise and prevent young people's exposure to alcohol consumption and related harm.
  • Decrease the number of parents who provide alcohol to young people.
  • Increase awareness of alcohol harms and risks.

Samantha Beetham, Senior Officer in the Alcohol and Tobacco Team at Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards Service said: “We wanted to focus on parental responsibility, change perceptions of how appropriate it is for parents to give alcohol to under 18s and encourage parents to speak to their child about alcohol and look at putting guidelines and boundaries in place.”

The initial campaign included a two-week radio campaign and posters distributed to all off-licensed premises and GP's surgeries and health centres across Lancashire. Guidance for parents was published on the Lancashire County Council website at www.lancashire.gov.uk/lancan and information booklets distributed to all Lancashire secondary schools.

The 2021 campaign ran from 15th November to 5th December, designed to coincide with National Alcohol Aware[1]ness Week and to raise parental awareness in the run up to Christmas. The 'call to action' for the campaign was 'Talk Before They Drink', encouraging parents to get the facts on underage drinking and signpost them to support services.

Lancashire CAPs - Where’s the Harm? campaign key activities included:

  • Signposting parents to Lancashire Trading Standards Alcohol and Tobacco Team website providing information, support and links to Drinkaware, the Alcohol Education Trust and Alcohol Change UK.
  • A social experiment filmed by Lancashire Trading Standards at a store in Clitheroe. The purpose was to see how customers reacted to a 'dad' buying alcohol for his 16 year old 'daughter', and later, when the roles were reversed, with the daughter pressuring dad to buy alcohol for her. Professional actors were used to play the two roles and staff at the store were aware of the experiment but everything else in this powerful film is real. Where's The Harm Social Video - YouTube
  • A new social media campaign: #TalkBeforeTheyDrink, using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to reach parents who choose to supply alcohol to their children and adults who buy alcohol for children.
  • An online parent survey was promoted via the website and social media.
  • 2,500 parents and young people booklets from Alcohol Education Trust distributed to schools and partners across Lancashire CAPs and 250 Where's The Harm posters distributed to off licences and partners.

Key campaign messages were:

  • It is against the law for an adult to buy alcohol on behalf of someone who is under 18.
  • There are many risks associated with underage drinking.
  • Talk to your children about alcohol.
  • Key Call to action: #TalkBeforeTheyDrink - get the facts on underage drinking.

The social media toolkit was distributed to CAPs across Lancashire and all partners encouraged to share the messages and advice. The campaign reached a total of 82,159 people via website views, radio and social media. A survey of 54 parents showed: 

 

  • 75% had seen the Where’s the Harm #TalkBeforeTheyDrink campaign.
  • 53% said the campaign had taught them something new.
  • 58% were not aware of CMO advice that children should not be given alcohol before the age of 15.
  • 52% had given alcohol to their child before the age of 15.
  • 76% said the campaign had changed their view on giving their children alcohol.
  • 62% knew where to go for support if they were concerned about a child’s drinking.

Hastings CAP

The Hastings/Ore CAP provides a wide range of alcohol education for both children and parents as well as a varied programme of positive activities for children and young people. Hastings Academy is a key partner and provides its students with multiple alcohol education opportunities, including provision of Alcohol Education Trust resources, visits by SMASHED and singer songwriter Henry Maybury. The school has also trained nine ambassadors as alcohol peer mentors with more students studying the Royal Society Public Health (RSPH) Young Health Champions course.

Funding provided by CAP enabled a wide range of positive activities to be provided that encouraged engagement and team work such as “Nerf Wars” and “Rodeo Games”, and new skills such as yoga, cricket and graffiti art. Through funding obtained during the second round of the Home Office-led Local Alcohol Action Area (LAAA) programme Hastings CAP funded two mocktail making workshops which ran alongside alcohol awareness raising activities such as a “spin the wheel” game which highlights the physical, social, and legal consequences of alcohol abuse and use of “beer goggles” which re-creates the visual distortion, loss of perception, and lack of control that impair drunken drivers.

The National Social Marketing Centre (NSMC) undertook two surveys of children aged 11 to 17 on behalf of the CAP so that they could utilise the results in their findings for the ‘Think Again Now’ programme. A total of 121 Academy students were surveyed at the beginning of the CAP in the summer term of 2017. This was followed up with another identical survey in the summer term of 2019 which was completed by 324 students. A key finding was a 95% increase in those who “never drink or only drink a few times a year”.

There were significant reductions in parental supply of alcohol to children. When asked, in 2017, how they had got alcohol in the last four weeks, most (67%) answered that they had taken it from home with permission. This reduced to 18% in 2019 – a 73% decrease.

Of those who drank alcohol in the past four weeks, nearly half (47%) in 2017 had been given alcohol by a parent or guardian. This reduced to 21% in 2019.

The key intervention aimed at parents was a campaign developed by the NSMC aimed at parents of teenage children which highlighted the negative impact alcohol can have on a teenager child’s brain development and ran with the slogan: Your child and alcohol. Think Again Now. When the NSMC started working with NHS Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group around local alcohol issues, it didn’t anticipate the need to develop a campaign aimed at parents. It had, wrongly, assumed that young people were either purchasing alcohol from local retailers, or asking older siblings to buy it for them.

However, when the NSMC did the formative research with 72 11-15 year olds, they learned that they mostly got their alcohol from their parents. Based on this finding, they conducted further research, this time with local parents. They said they did give their children alcohol, but with the best intentions. The parental research uncovered a number of false assumptions:

  • Parents believed their child would be more likely to “rebel” and drink more if they were too strict around alcohol.
  • They were not aware that there was a problem with giving under 18-year-olds alcohol, they believed it was the social norm.
  • Parents see alcohol as an inevitable rite of passage and assume their child will experiment with alcohol at some stage.
  • They did not see how their behaviour could affect their children’s consumption as they believed their children were more influenced by their peer group.
  • They felt that nearly all young people drank alcohol, and that most of the other parents also gave their children alcohol, so they felt a pressure to do so also.
  • They were unaware that alcohol can have an effect on brain development and were shocked by this.

What was most clear was that the parents had no concept that what they were doing could be harmful. Therefore, if the NSMC wanted to achieve behaviour change, it would have to rebuff some of the myths around young people and alcohol consumption. It pre-tested various campaign images and messages with parents, and the one that resonated was a hard-hitting message about how alcohol can affect young people’s brain development.

Based on the findings, a mix of interventions was developed. A radio campaign aimed at parents and guardians was supported by posters, leaflets and a website. The campaign highlighted the negative impact alcohol can have on teenage brain development and ran with the slogan,” Your child and alcohol. Think Again Now.” For the young people themselves, work was done with i-Rock, a service for 14 -25 year olds in Hastings offering young people help and advice with issues including emotional wellbeing, mental health, education, employment and housing.

The radio campaign ran for two weeks and reached 1,542 parents with teenage children. 162 people visited the website during this period. Results suggest the campaign had a positive impact on parents’ understanding of the dangers of young people drinking, in particular around the key message of the impact alcohol can have on a teenager’s brain.

Key findings were:

  • 81% of parents before the campaign (baseline) said their child drank alcohol. After the campaign (follow-up) this had reduced to 72%.
  • When asked before the campaign ‘Do you, or anyone you know, buy alcohol for their teenager/s (under 18 years of age) to drink?’ 25% said they did and 39% said they knew another parent. At follow-up only 20% said they bought alcohol, although the number who stated they know of another parent who does stayed the same at 39%.
  • When asked ‘Did you know that our brain continues to develop until we are in our early 20s and alcohol can affect
    the development of a teenager’s brain?’, 39% answered ‘yes’ at baseline, compared to 59% at follow-up.
Promoting alcohol awareness
Supported by Askern CAP, Doncaster successfully applied for a £1,313 grant from the Local Alcohol Partnerships Grant Fund. This was used to create a resource pack aimed at raising awareness among young people of alcohol-related health harms to be used in youth clubs and the local secondary school, as part of health awareness events. The resource pack has also being used by the local policing team to educate young people in other parts of Doncaster on the potential harms of alcohol consumption.

Engaging young people
In Pontypridd CAP a group of secondary school children attended a two-month course of weekly sessions delivered by the Youth Engagement and Participation Service supported by a qualified nurse.

All the sessions were delivered in Pontypridd Park via a partnership with Heritage Lottery. They included a trip to local allotments where the group picked fruit and vegetables and made lunch from scratch, learning new skills along the way. The group is now putting together a business plan to access funding to deliver health improvement messages across the area and are keen to become part of a cross-UK Young Health Champions Network.

Tackling proxy purchase
Sutton-in-Ashfield CAP was the first to come up with the innovative idea of a pavement stencil near alcohol outlets to communicate the clear and simple message that purchasing alcohol on behalf of an under 18 is an offence. Following a successful pilot in the area, CAP has since produced stencils for use around the country including one in Welsh for our Welsh CAPs. These temporary chalk-based stencils are sprayed on pavements outside off licences and supermarkets and are an innovative, low cost and eye-catching way of drawing attention to the issue.

Connecting communities
A week of action by North East Edinburgh and North West Edinburgh CAPs raised awareness across the community of the dangers of alcohol misuse.  

The week involved compliancy testing, engagement with young people in hotspot areas, community patrols with Tommy Sheppard MP and performances of “Smashed” in Edinburgh High Schools. There was widespread stencilling around the city to raise awareness of proxy purchasing.

Proactive engagement with the Citadel Youth Group was an essential aspect of the ‘education’ strand of the operation and a range of activities were held, involving alcohol/drug discussion and games utilising education resources provided by CAP including ‘beer goggles’ to simulate the effect of being drunk.

During the week licensed premises across the area were visited by police officers and CAP partners and any that fell below the required standard were monitored with further test purchasing.

Providing positive activities
Reading CAP provides a hugely successful alcohol-themed Manga drawing project for 13-24 year olds during the school summer holidays.

The Create a Comic project offers young people the chance to create their own manga-style comic strips and stories to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol consumption. Facebook and Instagram groups offer daily updates, drawing guidance and competitions to engage young members – so those taking part can access the tutorials wherever they are.

Working with licensed premises

Supported by the local CAP scheme and PASS, the Hastings Business Crime Reduction Partnership successfully applied for a £1,500 grant from the Local Alcohol Partnerships Group Fund for a project to provide enhanced training for door supervisors and others in detecting fraudulent ID and managing refusals into premises.

The group developed a good practice guide for detecting fake ID and identifying the tactics used by under-18s to obtain entry to licensed premises and offered training. The project has had a clear and demonstrable local impact. The training sessions attracted a wide range of attendees and led to an increasing number of false IDs being confiscated and a significant number of entry refusals. The toolkit developed by the Steering Group has also allowed the continuation of training sessions and wider, sustained, stakeholder engagement.

Our local CAP has seen significant results: there’s been a 17% reduction in alcohol related anti-social behaviour in just two years. But it’s about more than statistics. One aspect of the CAP has had much higher aims – to change the way young people talk about and view alcohol. That’s a significant challenge given that many of our young people use alcohol as a way of creating a social identity for themselves.

Tommy Sheppard
MP for East Edinburgh

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