Corby underage drinking project wins national award

James Lowman and Laura Shaw
James Lowman and Laura Shaw

A Corby project has won a national award for its work tackling underage drinking.

The Community Alcohol Partnerships brings together retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and other groups to tackle the problem of underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour.

Laura Shaw of Corby Council received the CAP Award for Most Improved Locality from James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, at the Westminster launch of the CAP 2017 Impact Report on October 10.

Figures show anti-social behaviour in Corby has fallen by 27 per cent since 2014.

Mr Lowman said: “Corby recorded the highest reductions in anti-social behaviour last year across Northamptonshire and much of the credit for this must go to the work of Corby CAP and in particular, Karen Pentin and Laura Shaw.

“Karen has worked tirelessly with retailers, building links and increasing their understanding of their responsibilities for the sale of alcohol, while Laura has delivered a wide range of alcohol education in secondary schools across Corby.

“It’s clear that CAP is making a real and lasting difference to young people and the communities where they live.”

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

CAP has now announced plans to double the number of partnerships around the country and extend its remit to provide continued support as children become young adults.

National CAP chairman 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, residents and local communities.”

MP Fiona Bruce, chairman 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.”