A Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) was launched in Wokingham Borough on 19 April 2022.
CAPs are made up of partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to highlight the risks of underage drinking and improve the health and wellbeing of local young people.
The CAP will work with youth services and local organisations to provide alcohol-free 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 aims to help them avoid making underage sales and reduce ‘proxy’ sales where adults buy alcohol for under-18s.
Partners in the CAP include Wokingham Borough Council, Wokingham Town Council, Thames Valley Police, West Berkshire Council, social justice and harm reduction charity Cranstoun, alcohol retailers, schools and the local community.
Kate Winstanley, Director of Community Alcohol Partnerships, said: "I am delighted to see the launch of a CAP in Wokingham. 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.”
Steve Moore, Interim Corporate Director of Place and Growth at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “Our vision is to build safe, strong communities in Wokingham Borough that protects and safeguards children, the young and vulnerable people. I am delighted that CAP will have a local presence, working with youth services, schools and organisations to educate, influence and change behaviours and attitudes towards alcohol, drugs and anti-social behaviour.”
About Community Alcohol Partnerships
CAPs 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
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