New head for CAP

29 July, 2009

The work of Community Alcohol Partnerships in tackling under-age drinking has been boosted with the appointment of a consultant responsible for developing new and existing projects.

Philip Loring, formerly head of central operations for First Quench Retailing, has been appointed CAP officer by the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group, which represents leading players in the off-trade.

CAP aims to break down barriers between shopkeepers and enforcement officers – and to show enforcers that shops are the front line of enforcement rather than the cause of under-age drinking. It brings together police and Trading Standards, who work with store managers, local schools and youth clubs to help fight under-age buying.

Loring, who has extensive experience of the off-trade, having worked for Augustus Barnett and Victoria Wine before heading up the rebranded First Quench Retailing central operations team, will be based at the WSTA’s offices in London.

“It’s a privilege to be asked to help drive this work forward on behalf of the industry,” Loring said. “Retailers have done much already to address the issue of under-age alcohol purchase and I am confident our development of CAPs will continue to have an impact.”

Nick Grant, chairman of RASG, added: “I am sure Philip’s experience in the retail trade will help other retailers and enforcement agencies understand the benefits of partnership working.”

There are now nine CAPs in operation around the country, including a new project in Fife supported by police and local NHS services.

A toolkit to help local authorities, police and retailers set up CAPs was developed following a pilot scheme in the market town of St Neots, Cambridgeshire in 2008.

From January to April antisocial behaviour incidents dropped 2% in the area, and 46% in one of the areas targeted by the project. There was also a 94% drop in young people found with alcohol and 92% fall in alcohol-related litter.

On the back of the pilot’s success in St Neots, CAP won the accolade of Best Initiative at OLN’s Responsible Drinks Retailing Awards 2008.

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