Hastings cracks down on alcohol problems

22 June, 2012

Hastings, in East Sussex, is cracking down on alcohol-related antisocial behaviour and under-age drinking in a new Community Alcohol Partnership scheme.

The CAP has brought retailers in the town together with the Safer Hastings Partnership, East Sussex County Council, Hastings Borough Council, Sussex Police, local charities and media to fight problems caused by alcohol.

The new scheme will focus on education, enforcement and public perception, and will run for six months and then be evaluated against the same period the year before.

All the local retailers will be trained in selling alcohol and encouraged to use Chellenge 25, while young people will be educated about the health effects of alcohol through schools and youth clubs, and adults will be targeted with information about the laws on proxy purchasing.

After the training, retailers will be tested and police patrols will look for under-age drinkers, confiscate their alcohol and tell their parents. Drunk youngsters will be taken home and adults found buying alcohol for under-18s will be given on-the-spot fines.

The local media will be encouraged to raise awareness of the scheme and it will be evaluated before and after.

Councillor Kim Forward, lead member for community safety at Hastings Borough Council, said:  “We need to work together to solve the problem of alcohol abuse by both the under and the over-18s in Hastings, and the Community Alcohol Partnership scheme where a variety of agencies all play their part to manage the problem has to be the right way forward. We want to see adults and young people drinking responsibly and minors only able to access alcohol under responsible and informed supervision.”

Local MP Amber Rudd said: “I am delighted to support this initiative. It will not only help young people to tackle their harmful use of alcohol, but also help the community which currently suffers the consequences of this alcohol abuse. I look forward to the results of the evaluation in the autumn and wish it every success.”

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