|Campaign to tackle underage drinking launches
Partners, including Councillor Kevin Anderson and Councillor James Churton (Hindley Ward member) with members of Greater Manchester Police, Wigan Councilís Trading Standards and restorative solutions team and a member of WASP (Womenís Alcohol Support Group).
A campaign to tackle underage drinking has launched in Hindley and Hindley Green.
Set up by Wigan Council and supported by Greater Manchester Police, the Hindley Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) will see the councilís trading standards, licensing and restorative solutions team, police, local retailers, schools and community, work together to tackle underage alcohol sales.
The national scheme is the first of its kind to be launched locally in Greater Manchester. The aim of CAP is to raise awareness of the consequences of drinking alcohol, prevent the sale of alcohol to those underage, and to reduce anti-social behaviour as a result.
To mark the launch, which took place yesterday (Monday 15th July), partners and volunteers from the community took part in a litter pick around Hindley and Hindley Green to highlight the level of alcohol related rubbish in the area. Throughout this week, a number of activities will take place to raise awareness of the scheme and to prevent the sale of alcohol to underage buyers and those acting on their behalf, with ASDA providing underage sales training to other local CAP member retailers.
During the summer holidays, Wigan Councilís restorative solutions team and Greater Manchester Police will be organising extra patrols across the borough during peak times, looking for young people in possession of or under the influence of alcohol, to promote safety messages and reduce alcohol related anti-social behaviour. Trading standards and the police will also be carrying out proxy-patrols, targeting those who buy alcohol on behalf of under 18ís. Those caught buying alcohol on behalf of an underage person could face an on the spot £80 fine.
Speaking at the launch event, Councillor Kevin Anderson, Wigan Councilís cabinet member for safer communities, said: I am pleased to announce this new initiative by Wigan Council and its partners and Iíd like to thank you all for coming. I hope this scheme is successful in tackling underage alcohol sales in the Hindley area and if it is, weíll build on that success and roll it out across the borough.
Superintendent Andrea Jones from Greater Manchester Police, said: "We are confident that this new scheme will directly address the factors that contribute to underage drinking, and I welcome ASDA delivering underage sales training to other smaller retailers. As well as routinely seizing illegally purchased alcohol, our officers will work closely with Wigan Councilís trading standards team to target licensed premises who sell alcohol to under 18s, and will also take action against adults who buy drink for young people. By rigorously employing these methods, I am sure we can create a situation where fewer young people have access to alcohol across the borough."
Miles Beale, Chief Executive of Community Alcohol Partnerships said: I am delighted at the launch of a CAP in Hindley the first scheme to take place in the whole of Greater Manchester. Community Alcohol Partnerships are a tried and tested way of driving down underage drinking and creating better, safer and friendlier neighbourhoods.
Locally tailored partnerships, which recognise that retailers and licensees are an important part of the solution, have been shown to be highly effective in driving down harm. Successful CAPs rely on the support of local stakeholders and the support of the Hindley and Hindley Green community will be vital.
For more information about Wigan Councilís trading standards team, including information on how to report underage sales, please visit: www.wigan.gov.uk/underage or call: 01942 827476