Community Alcohol Partnership is finally formed in Kilsyth to tackle underage drinking

Kilsyth now has its own Community Alcohol Partnership to tackle underage drinking and can consider itself among 250 such partnerships across the UK which aim to improve the life chances of young people.

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It comes after residents voiced their concerns about young people drinking in the area and a survey of young people found that nearly a quarter of them had been drunk at least once in the last four weeks.

Around 200 young people aged 13-17 took part in the survey and more than 15% indicated that they drank at least once a week. Almost 25% said they had been drunk at least once in the last four weeks.

Around a quarter of respondents said they are given alcohol by parents and a further 25% said they have given alcohol by friends. A total of 12% said they had bought alcohol from an off-licence, with a further 17% indicating that they have bought alcohol from a friend. And 66% of respondents claimed their parents didn’t mind them drinking, as long as they didn’t get drunk.

CAPs are made up of partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to prevent alcohol-related harm Partners in the Kilsyth CAP include Police Scotland, North Lanarkshire Council plus local schools and retailers.

The CAP will work with schools youth services and local organisations to provide alcohol-free leisure and sports activities for young people. Working with local retailers the CAP aims to help them avoid making underage sales and to reduce ‘proxy’ sales where adults buy alcohol for under-18s.

Police Scotland Inspector Susan Rae said: “Young people can face difficult challenges in their lives, and we need to ensure they have the confidence to help them make the right decisions, especially since alcohol abuse can severely impact on the ability to make positive choices.

"Youths drinking can also impact on the whole community and we have listened to local concerns and I am pleased to see the community and partners coming together. Everyone will be working together to help young people make better choices around alcohol and reduce the harm it causes. It demonstrates how local organisations are working together.”