The Home Secretary has announced that partnership with local schemes, supported by alcohol businesses, will be a key element of the government’s strategy to improve the safety of the night time economy and protect vulnerable people.
The Modern Crime Prevention Strategy, launched today at the International Crime and Policing Conference in London includes a commitment to work with local alcohol partnership schemes (LAPs) such as Best Bar None, Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs) Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS), Purple Flag and Pubwatch. Other schemes working alongside these partnerships include UK BIDs, British BIDs and Street Pastors.
The strategy states: ‘Strong, sustained and effective partnership working is at the heart of successful management of the evening and night time economy. The police, local authority and health partners must work alongside local businesses to devise local solutions and strategies for preventing alcohol-related crime and disorder.’
To showcase the work of the partnership schemes, 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.
Business-supported local schemes are already active in many communities across the UK including:
- 650 registered Pubwatches
- 100 Community Alcohol Partnerships (from 30 March 2016)
- 62 Purple Flag accredited areas
- 55 Best Bar None schemes
- 449million Proof of Age (PASS) cards in circulation
Since 2014 local alcohol partnership schemes have been particularly targeted in Local Alcohol Action Areas (LAAAs), designated by the Home Office, including:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 15 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.
The new Modern Crime Prevention Strategy includes a commitment to a new round of Local Alcohol Action areas.
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.
Responding to the announcement, Portman Group Chief Executive Henry Ashworth said:
“We warmly welcome the government’s new strategy that recognises partnership working with local businesses as key to tackling alcohol-related crime. Alcohol 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.
We’ve made real progress during the last decade – official statistics show that alcohol-related crime, binge drinking and underage drinking have been in sustained decline. But there are still communities that suffer disproportionately from alcohol-related harms and where an irresponsible minority can spoil an evening out for the majority. 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.”