A community alcohol partnership (CAP) is launching in Ryde to tackle underage drinking and anti-social behaviour.
A local survey of Ryde young people aged 18 and under was carried out to monitor the scale of the issue and to help shape an action plan for the area.
The results found that of the 617 respondents, 25 per cent of youngsters drank alcohol once or twice a month, 13 per cent drank at least once a week and six per cent drank every day or almost every day.
More than two thirds of young people responding to the survey had alcohol provided by their parents or guardians (61 per cent) and other relatives (21 per cent). Eleven per cent of under 18 year olds got their alcohol from a shop, supermarket, or off-licence and in those cases, three per cent of those outlets refused to sell alcohol to the survey participants.
“I am delighted to announce the launch of the CAP in Ryde. There is growing concern in the area about the levels of underage drinking and the action plan will aim to prevent youngsters damaging their health, development and opportunities, as well as lessening the impact on the wider community,” said Ryde CAP chair, Julie Woodhouse.
“We are already off to a good start – Ryde Academy has been proactively providing students opportunities to explore their relationship with alcohol and Network Ryde, a youth support project, will be offering an opportunity to explore alcohol misuse in young people through an art project based at the 147 café in Ryde.”
CAP activities already put in place in the area included a test purchase of alcohol by the council’s Trading Standards from off licensed premises in Ryde. This confirmed that on the whole underage children are not able to easily purchase alcohol in Ryde. Eight out of nine premises passed the test and refused to sell alcohol without valid ID, reflecting the low survey findings (11 per cent) of premises selling alcohol to young people in the area.
CAPs are made up of partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to empower communities to tackle alcohol-related harm to young people and improve the quality of life for residents.
They aim to reduce the sale of alcohol to young people, advise on the dangers of drinking and provide alcohol-free activities through youth services and local charities. Across the country CAPs have had outstanding impacts on local crime, anti-social behaviour, litter, feelings of safety and reductions in the purchase of alcohol.
The formal launch of the Ryde CAP will take place at Ryde Academy on 28 June, where guest speakers will include Andy Parsons from the Home Office’s Drug and Alcohol Unit and Kate Winstanley, director of the national CAP scheme. The reasons for the CAP being set up and the action plan to tackle the problems associated with underage drinking in Ryde will also be discussed.
The Ryde CAP will bring together a range of stakeholders, including the council’s trading standards team, police, Ryde Academy, the Community Safety Partnership, Ryde Town Council, The Foyer (not-for-profit organisation for youth development) and Network Ryde. Other stakeholders may be added to the group in the future.
For more information on community alcohol partnerships, please visit: www.communityalcoholpartnerships.co.uk