The Community Alcohol Partnerships scheme has revealed plans to double the number of CAPs around the country, following ten successful years of local partnerships to tackle underage drinking.

Its 2017 impact report, which was launched recently, shows how local CAPs are empowering communities by bringing together retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working tougher to tackle underage drinking and improve the quality of life for residents.

CAP chair, Derek Lewis, said: “CAPs offer an evidence-based and locally tailored response to underage alcohol problems. Our targeted approach means that we bring effective national programmes to areas with greatest harms. It is clear from the compelling body of evidence presented in this report that CAPs are making a tangible positive difference to young people, residence and local communities.”

The group now plans to achieve near universal coverage of CAPs in all areas of the UK with above average underage alcohol harms, including the Government’s recently announced second round of Local Alcohol Action Areas.

MP Fiona Bruce, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm, said: “It is absolutely vital that we protect young people from the devastating effects of alcohol harm. British children are more likely to binge drink or get drunk than children in most other European countries. This brings serious risks to their health and development and impacts on a wide range of issues, from underperformance at school and later exclusion from the job market, to mental ill health, sexual exploitation, homelessness and imprisonment. I Very much welcome CAP’s joined up, partnership approach to addressing this issue.”

CAP is a community interest company (CIC), funded by all major retailers who share its concerns about underage drinking. Current funders including Aldi, Asda, ACS, Brown Forman, Co-op, Diageo, Heineken, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Molson Coors, One Stop, Sainsbury’s SHS Drinks, Tesco and Waitrose. The Welsh Government also provided £15,000 towards the establishment of three new CAPs in Wales.

Data now shows a series of successes with CAP projects around the country. These include:

  • An 80% reduction in alcohol seizures from young people in Edinburgh
  • A 39% reduction in alcohol-related youth anti-social behaviour in Brecon
  • In Todmorton, West Yorks, only 21% of residents reported underage drinking as being a fairly or very big problem after the CAP was set up compared to 60% before the CAP
  • Corby, Northamptonshire, saw a 27% decrease in calls to the police about alcohol-related anti-social behaviour by young people
  • The Reading CAP in Berkshire saw a decline in test purchase failures from 72% in January 2015 to 17% in August 2016
  • And at Wantage and Grove CAP in Oxfordshire the percentage of Year 9-11s who do not drink at all increased from 17% to 25%