Portman Group launches video showcasing partnership work between business and local authorities to tackle alcohol-related crime


The Portman Group has launched a new infographic video explaining how local alcohol partnership schemes work to promote responsible drinking, tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder and improve the vibrancy of night time economies.

Local Alcohol Partnership schemes (LAPs) such as Best Bar None, Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP), National Pubwatch, Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) and Purple Flag work alongside local authorities, health services and community groups. Other schemes working alongside these partnerships include UK BIDs, British BIDs and Street Pastors.

Business-supported local schemes are active in many communities across the UK, and since 2014 have been particularly targeted in Local Alcohol Action Areas (LAAAs) designated by the Home Office.

Schemes currently active across the UK:

  • 650 registered Pubwatches
  • 100 Community Alcohol Partnerships (from 30 March 2016)
  • 62 Purple Flag accredited areas
  • 55 Best Bar None schemes
  • 1.449million Proof of Age (PASS) cards in circulation

The Local Alcohol Partnership schemes have worked in a number of LAAAs including:

Greater Manchester:

  •  There are now over 20 local Pubwatches across the region.
  •  Street Pastors are now operating in Bury, Manchester City Centre, North and South of the City, Oldham and Rochdale.
  • Drinkaware and Greater Manchester Police are planning to introduce the Drinkaware Crew initiative. This includes specially trained staff to work in bars and clubs to reduce vulnerability and negative drunken behaviour among 18 to 24 year olds.


  • Corby, Kingston and St Davids have successfully introduced Community Alcohol Partnerships.
  • There is a countywide Best Bar None scheme, which was successful in bidding for a business grant of £1,500 to redevelop the scheme and create a bespoke training package for licensees.
  • There are now two local Pubwatches across the county; as well as in Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough and Daventry.


  • In 2015, Nottingham City Centre achieved Purple Flag accreditation for the sixth consecutive year.
  • There are now fifteen Pubwatches across Nottinghamshire, and a countywide Best Bar None scheme, which was launched during the LAAAs project.
  • Sutton in Ashfield successfully bid for a £1,000 business grant to support a street stencilling initiative, aiming to raise awareness that proxy purchasing of alcohol for under 18s is an offence.

Official government statistics (ONS and HSCIC) show significant and sustained falls in rates of binge drinking (down 20%), alcohol-related violent crime (down 34%) and underage drinking (down 36%), during the last decade.

Polling carried out by YouGov has shown that Police and members of the public attributed these falling rates of alcohol-related crime to better town centre management and better partnership working. A significant majority (64%) of Police surveyed believed that effective partnership working between Police, local authorities and licensed premises had increased over the last decade.

Portman Group Chief Executive Henry Ashworth said

“Drinks companies are committed to reducing the harms related to alcohol misuse and support a range of schemes that are really helping to make our high streets safer places for people to socialise and for businesses to thrive.

But there are still communities that suffer disproportionately from alcohol-related harms. Supporting these communities will be tough in a time when public service budgets are under pressure, which is why we are committed to working with central and local government to provide targeted support to help make town centres great places to live work and play.”

Cllr Tony Page, Licensing spokesman on the Local Government Association’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:


"The night-time economy is a major contributor to vibrant town centres and social activity and councils want to ensure the mix of bars, clubs and restaurants is appealing to residents and visitors.


“However, there are also challenges associated with the night time economy, which are beyond the resources of any individual organisation or business to resolve.  

"We therefore welcome these initiatives to provide targeted solutions to local problems, and the work of the Portman group to coordinate them. Together, councils, businesses, the drinks industry and local police can work to create safe, enjoyable high streets and evening experiences."

Jim Battle, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Greater Manchester said:

“We are working closely in partnership with the industry and other organisations as part of the Greater Manchester alcohol strategy. I look forward to enhancing this work as we continue to develop a vibrant, safe and enjoyable night time economy.”

Vicki Ross, Head of Prevention and Community Impact, Northants PCC from Northamptonshire Local Alcohol Action Area has commented:

“Strong partnerships are fundamental to making Northamptonshire the Safest Place in the Country and we are proud of what has been achieved with our partners to enable the public to experience the best Northamptonshire has to offer.  The development of our bespoke “Best Bar None” scheme with the Carlsberg Food and Drink awards in the county and the support of the Portman Group is a great example of how local and national industry can work in partnership to empower innovative local delivery”.  

Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, said:

“The success of a unified approach in the work to tackle alcohol abuse has paid huge dividends.  Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are now acknowledged one of the leaders in this work, which was our ambition when we launched my county-wide alcohol strategy in 2013.  I’m grateful that the LAAA status has strengthened our work with high-level expertise and support, and we have seen initiatives introduced that fundamentally help those most vulnerable to alcohol-related harm.  This is real progress.”

A Local Alcohol Partnerships booklet  and resource pack is available from the Portman Group website which explains the schemes and outlines best practice for partnership working between local businesses and local authorities.  

Case studies showing the success of local alcohol partnerships in Nottingham, Birmingham and Bournemouth are available from the Portman Group website. The case studies are written and submitted by local authorities and Business Improvement District (BID) representatives.