An “innovative” anti-social behaviour and underage drinking scheme implemented by Tower Hamlets council has been singled out for its success.
The borough’s Community Alcohol Partnerships project is one of 88 to launch nationwide in the last eight years. In a review published by CAP at the end of November, the Tower Hamlets scheme was highlighted as having been particularly effective in working with young people.
…outstanding positive impacts on crime, anti-social behavior, litter, residents’ feelings of safety and underage/proxy purchasing – changes that improve the quality of life for the public and reduce harm to young people…
Councillor Shiria Khatun, cabinet member for community safety, said: “To be recognised nationally is a real achievement for everyone involved in our Community Alcohol Partnership. It is vital that we extend this scheme, and continue to reduce underage drinking and any subsequent alcohol related anti-social behaviour.”
CAP projects are locally delivered partnerships between Tower Hamlets council’s enforcement officers, the Metropolitan Police, schools, housing associations and retailers. They aim to reduce alcohol-related youth crime by educating retailers on their responsibilities.
Unlike other schemes designed to combat issues around underage drinking, CAP projects recognise that retailers and licensees have the capacity to effect more change than law enforcement alone.
The scheme was officially implemented in Tower Hamlets last April in the Bethnal Green and St Peters areas of the borough. Since then, these areas have seen a 46 per cent decrease in anti-social behaviour, an 87 per cent decrease in alcohol seizures from young people and an 80 per cent decrease in youth disorder.
Following the success enjoyed in these areas, the council is now focusing on extending the scheme to other parts of the borough, particularly in Mile End and Bethnal Green. It is asking residents to complete an online survey so that the programme can be directed more effectively.
Cam Lieng, former licensing manager and last year’s coordinator of the scheme in Tower Hamlets, was also recognised for her individual contribution to CAP in its first year, winning an award for the introduction of her youth employment project.
The project provided young people who were not in employment or education the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Employability and get work experience in Sainsbury’s, helping to lower the number of bored youths committing anti-social and alcohol-related crime.
Derek Lewis, Chairman of CAP schemes nationwide, said: “The rapid growth in the number of local CAPs launched in 2014 and 2015 is a welcome recognition of the need to achieve further reductions in underage drinking, a strong vote of confidence in the CAP model and a powerful demonstration of the effectiveness of local partnerships. This report shows unequivocally that CAPs do the job they set out to do.”