Author: Carolyn Brownell

The Cardiff Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) has won a national award for its work tackling underage drinking.

Lauren Idowu of Public Health Wales and Ian Tumelty the Business Crime Reduction Manager for Cardiff Against Business Crime (FOR Cardiff) received the CAP of the Year (Wales) Award from Kate Winstanley, CAP Director, at the annual CAP celebration at the House of Lords on January 29.

Kate Winstanley said: “Cardiff was the first CAP to include 18-25 year olds within the project. The city has a vibrant night-time economy and the CAP works to ensure the safety of these young people, working in partnership to bring together existing initiatives and add value to them. Help points are to be installed across the city and training is currently being delivered to door staff to provide support for vulnerable young people. The CAP also works closely with Cardiff universities to reduce anti-social behaviour, alcohol-related violence and health risks from high levels of intoxication among students.”

She added: “I’d also like to congratulate Pontardawe CAP and Pontypridd CAP which were highly commended in this category for their most effective work addressing underage drinking in Wales by focussing on the education of young people and holding local public engagement events.”

CAPs are made up of partnerships between retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to empower communities to tackle alcohol-related harm to young people and improve the quality of life for residents. The CAP 2019 annual report, launched at the House of Lords, shows how this innovative partnership approach has brought major reductions in alcohol supply to children, alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and underage street drinking.

Evaluations for the period 2015-2019 show:

  • 52% average reductions in regular drinking among 13-16 year olds
  • 40% reductions in youth alcohol-related anti-social behaviour
  • 80% improvement in Challenge 25 compliance following CAP training
  • 90% reductions in residents reporting seeing under 18s drinking in the local area
  • 77% reduction in young people hanging around shops and asking adults to buy alcohol for them

CAP Chair Derek Lewis said: ““Underage drinking is associated with school and educational problems, unprotected sex, consumption of illicit drugs, violence and drinking problems in later life. We have been greatly encouraged to see emerging evidence that CAPs are reducing alcohol consumption by underage children.  While the proportion of young people in England who regularly consume alcohol has dropped slowly between 2001 and 2018, the reductions achieved in CAP areas are even greater, with 52% average reductions in regular drinking among 13-16 year olds.  We believe that this reflects the increasing emphasis on working with schools within the CAP areas.”

Cardiff has successfully renewed its Purple Flag accreditation after evidencing for the second time that it is has an excellent offering for an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.

An application led by FOR Cardiff and involving partners including South Wales Police, Cardiff Council, British Transport Police, Cardiff Licensees Forum, Street Pastors and a host of cultural venues and attractions was scored against the five core standards. These include being safe and welcoming, the accessibility of the area and the provision of a diverse choice of leisure and entertainment activities available to all.

Enhancing the perception of safety in Cardiff city centre has been a new focus for this year’s application through the production and promotion of a Purple Flag video which achieved a reach 79,805 in its first week across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Cardiff University, University of South Wales and Cardiff & Vale College have also agreed to show the video at all their open days both locally and internationally and have shared it on their social media channels reaching 344,432 people across the globe.

New for the latest application was the rollout of the Best Bar None scheme which ensures the highest standards in licenced premises. This has been delivered at zero cost to premises within the Purple Flag area and 34 premises are currently working towards accreditation. FOR Cardiff has funded the training of four staff who will carry out the assessments.

FOR Cardiff has also continued to provide training sessions for club and pub staff, fund the Night Marshals team, manage the CityNet Radio system as well as financially supporting different initiatives for students such as the Safety Bus.

Adrian Field, Executive Director of FOR Cardiff said: “Our mission at FOR Cardiff is to make sure the city centre is a welcoming and safe environment that can be enjoyed by everyone. Cardiff can officially continue to be recognised for its varied cultural offering and its safety. FOR Cardiff are proud to lead on obtaining the Purple Flag award for the second year running and delighted we have been successful in retaining it.”