The Grapevine

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Creating safer communities – CAPs

Creating safer communities – CAPs

Creating safer communities – CAPs help bring about real progress through partnership

Director Kate Winstanley talks about the success of CAPs in tackling underage drinking and the associated harms to communities following the publication of the Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) 2016 Impact Report.

On Monday 14th November Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) hosted an awards ceremony to honour the efforts of a number of exceptional individuals whose contributions to their individual CAPs have made a real difference to reducing underage drinking and building safer, more cohesive communities.

 It was an incredibly uplifting evening which shone a light on how working together can make a real difference to people’s lives.



One of the most moving parts of the evening was when Caroline Flint MP presented an award to Henry Maybury for his outstanding contribution to CAPs across the UK. Henry lost his brother to an alcohol-related illness when he was just 29 years old. Caroline spoke from the heart when she handed over his CAP award and said she shared his pain as she told him she lost her 45 year-old mother as a result of alcohol dependence at the age of 28.  Henry now tours schools and prisons in CAP areas and helps to educate the next generation about the hazards of alcohol misuse.


Made up of partnerships between retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers, CAPs have played a vital role in reducing alcohol harm across the UK. With the very first CAP scheme being set up in the small market town of St Neots, Cambridgeshire in 2007, more than a decade on the growth has been outstanding. By the end of the year a total of 124 CAPs will have launched UK-wide, with over 20 schemes set up  this year.


The 2016 Impact Report findings show that CAPs are successfully tackling underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour. On average alcohol-related youth anti-social behaviour reduced by 40% in CAP partnership areas. Additionally, in those areas that have CAPs, there was an 85% reduction in seizures of alcohol from under 18s drinking in public, a 75% fall in attempted purchase by under 18s and significant reductions (41-65%) in attempted proxy purchase by adults on behalf of children.


Westminster played host to the report launch this week which drew MPs, CAP practitioners, funders  and alcohol awareness advocates together. With CAPs spanning Kent, Brecon, Edinburgh and Derry – their reach to all corners of the UK is unrivalled. The CAP model is unique in that it recognises that retailers and licensees can play an effective role in tackling underage and proxy sales rather than being blamed as the source of the problem. Each CAP relies on local partners to develop and implement de
livery at grassroots level. CAP’s success can be attributed to an action plan where every action has an owner, a robust evaluation framework that measures outcomes and impact and a joined up, inclusive partnership model that celebrates innovation and new ways of looking at entrenched and complex social issues.


We were incredibly encouraged by the support from the MP’s, Ministers, Police and Crime Commissioners, industry and Government officials who spoke came along to meet our CAP Community Champions and hear about their achievements, including Sarah Newton MP, Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird, Tommy Sheppard MP, Alistair Burt MP, Tom Pursglove MP and Caroline Flint MP . I am delighted to report that on the back of the event we have been asked to organise a number of CAP visits for MP’s and officials who want to learn more about the great work being done and are keen to promote the development of new CAPs in their constituencies.


CAP schemes represent a successful way of working collaboratively to tackle underage drinking and the resulting harm to local communities. CAP is proud to have the support of the WSTA and the wider industry without whose support we could not carry out our valuable work – their generous financial contributions are testament to being a socially responsible industry.



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