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BedfordCAP - A Community Alcohol Partnership

Thursday 22nd April

Bedford has launched a Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) to tackle underage alcohol sales, underage drinking and associated anti social behaviour, crime and disorder. This follows successful trials of similar initiatives in a handful of areas around Britain.

A trial of ‘BedfordCAP’ will initially focus on the rural areas surrounding Clapham and Oakley before plans to roll it out in other areas of the borough. The aim is to reduce young people’s access to alcohol by building on the existing work undertaken by the council’s trading standards service and local police teams.

Young people and parents will also be provided with key information regarding alcohol and safer drinking, building on the existing work on such topics through local schools. 

Partners working together on the CAP include Bedford Borough Council Trading Standards, Bedfordshire Police, Schools and The Retail of Alcohol Standards Group (RASG) which represents major retailers, and is backed by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. Together they plan to inform and advise young people on sensible drinking limits and help local communities to tackle alcohol-related problems. The plans also include greater assistance and support for retailers as part of the partnership.

Councillor Will Hunt, Community Safety Portfolio holder for Bedford Borough Council, said: “I am pleased to announce this new initiative by Bedford Borough Council and its partners. A key aspect of the partnership will be to break down the barriers between retailers and the enforcement agencies, and to recognise that by working together and with the wider community, including schools, local youngsters and parents, everyone can make a difference.

The knock-on effects of binge drinking to individuals and local communities can be severe. Together we can bring about a change in attitudes and behaviour”.

Nick Grant, chairman of the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group, said “I am delighted that a Community Alcohol Partnership has been launched in Bedford.

This is a major step in the ongoing roll-out of partnership working across England and Scotland and we will be working hard with local partners to replicate the successes of other areas. Underage drinking is a problem for the whole community, and local retailers have a vested interest in working with police and trading standards to do all they can to tackle it.”

The launch of the initiative is set for Tuesday 20th April 2010 at Oakley Village Hall.

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