Today (Monday 30 May) sees the launch of a Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) in Kilsyth in North Lanarkshire to highlight the risks of underage drinking and improve the health and wellbeing of local young people.
It comes after residents voiced their concerns about young people drinking in the area and a survey of young people found that nearly a quarter of them had been drunk at least once in the last four weeks. Around 200 young people aged 13-17 took part in the survey:
· Over 15% indicated that they drank at least once a week.
· Almost 25% said they had been drunk at least once in the last four weeks.
· Around a quarter of respondents said they are given alcohol by parents and a further 25% said they have given alcohol by friends.
· 12% said they had bought alcohol from an off-licence, with a further 17% indicating that they have bought alcohol from a friend.
· 66% of respondents claimed their parents didn’t mind them drinking, as long as they didn’t get drunk.
CAPs are made up of partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to prevent alcohol-related harm to young people and improve the quality of life for residents. More than 250 schemes have now been launched across England, Scotland, and Wales. Partners in the Kilsyth CAP include Police Scotland, North Lanarkshire Council (Trading Standards, Education, Community Learning & Development), plus local schools and retailers.
The CAP will work with youth services and local organisations to provide alcohol-free leisure and sports activities for young people. It will also work with local schools to take a proactive approach to alcohol education and ensure that young people are equipped to make the right decisions about issues including alcohol and drugs and anti-social and criminal behaviour. Working with local retailers the CAP aims to help them avoid making underage sales and to reduce ‘proxy’ sales where adults buy alcohol for under-18s.
Police Scotland Inspector Susan Rae said: “Young people can face difficult challenges in their lives, and we need to ensure they have the confidence to help them make the right decisions, especially since alcohol abuse can severely impact on the ability to make positive choices. Youths drinking can also impact on the whole community and we have listened to local concerns and I am pleased to see the community and partners coming together in this new CAP initiative to tackle these issues.
Everyone will be working together to help young people make better choices around alcohol and reduce the harm it causes. This proactive approach to educating young people, providing alcohol-free activities and deterring underage sales, demonstrates how local organisations are working together to offer support."
Kate Winstanley, Director of Community Alcohol Partnerships, said: "I am delighted to see the launch of a CAP in Kilsyth, following on from the success of our CAPs in Edinburgh, and Orkney. Underage drinking is associated with school and educational problems, unprotected sex, drug-taking, violence and drinking problems in later life. In just over a decade CAP has set up more than 250 partnerships around the UK and our evaluations show they are having a significant impact on reducing children’s alcohol consumption, improving their health and wellbeing and enhancing the communities where they live.”
For media information, contact: Inspector Susan Rae at Cumbernauld Police Office, telephone 101
About Community Alcohol Partnerships:
Since CAP was created in 2007, it has launched more than 250 schemes in England, Scotland and Wales. They bring together a range of local stakeholders with a shared interest in preventing underage drinking and encouraging responsible drinking among young adults.
A rigorous evaluation framework shows how this innovative partnership approach has brought significant reductions in alcohol supply to children, alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and underage street drinking, with CAP areas demonstrating:
· 61% average reductions in weekly drinking among 13–16-year-olds
· 99% of retailers passed Challenge 25 compliance test for alcohol sales
· 86% of retailers did not sell alcohol when they suspected it was a ‘proxy’ sale
· 50% reduction in young people hanging around shops and asking adults to buy alcohol for them
· 42% reduction in youth alcohol-related anti-social behaviour For more information see: www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk