Safety manager commended for his work in tackling underage drinking

John Whittington is presented with his certificate by Adrian Hill
John Whittington is presented with his certificate by Adrian Hill

A key member of the Ore Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) has been highly commended for his outstanding contribution to tackling underage drinking.

John Whittington, community safety manager at Hastings Borough Council, received his award at the Westminster launch of the CAP 2017 impact report.

Presenting the highly commended certificate, Adrian Hill, group regional risk manager at the Co-operative Group Ltd and CAP board director, said: “John launched one of our newest CAPs in Ore this year after surveys of parents and residents highlighted that underage drinking and anti-social behaviour were significant problems in the area. He has built exceptionally strong relationships within the partnership, resulting in a great example of multi-agency working and ensuring that different strands of work being undertaken in the area were brought together and built into CAP from the start.”

CAP’s 2017 impact report shows how local CAPs are empowering communities by bringing together retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to tackle underage drinking and improve the quality of life for residents.

CAP has now announced plans to double the number of CAPs around the country.

National CAP chair Derek Lewis said: “CAPs offer an evidence-based and locally tailored response to underage alcohol problems. Our targeted approach means that we bring effective national programmes to areas with greatest harms. It is clear from the compelling body of evidence presented in this report that CAPs are making a tangible positive difference to young people, residents and local communities.”

MP Fiona Bruce, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Harm, said: “It is absolutely vital we protect young people from the devastating effects of alcohol harm. British children are more likely to binge drink or get drunk than children in most other European countries. This brings serious risks to their health and development and impacts on a wide range of issues, from under-performance at school and later exclusion from the job market, to mental ill health, sexual exploitation, homelessness and imprisonment.”