Antisocial drinkers left high and dry thanks to pioneering scheme

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A pioneering partnership opportunity to tackle alcohol abuse, underage drinking and anti-social behaviour in the community as been launched in Calderdale.

Over recent months there has been an increase in reports of minor crime, anti-social behaviour and youth related nuisance in the Ovenden area.

The introduction of the Ovenden Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) heralds a complete approach to dealing with the issues in a bid to re-build the reputation of the area so that it can be once again cherished and well used by local residents.

The event, was opened by Ovenden Ward Officer Kim McCloskey and featured speakers from across the partnership including, the National Chair of CAP Derek Lewis, Police Sergeant Bob Saxon who oversees two successful CAP’s in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge and CAP officer Alan Simpson.

Local CAP Coordinators, Police Constable Kim McCloskey and Karen Robinson, are responsible for setting up the partnership locally said: “This multi-agency partnership is about a long term, robust approach to tackling the associated problems around underage drinking in Ovenden.

“This CAP is tailored to the needs of Ovenden, pulling together local stakeholders who are invested in improving the community through working with alcohol retailers, improving education of young people and enhancing diversionary activities in the community.

“By utilising this approach which is recognised as a national best practice model, we hope to reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour and underage drinking in Ovenden.”

Other speakers involved were MP Holly Lynch, Calderdale’s Deputy Mayoress Councillor Geraldine Carter, Tesco Manager Guy Pedley, Karen Scanlon Ward Link worker for Ovenden and Mixenden Initiative, Sharon Lawrence from Bus Oasis, Simon Duckinfield OCSA Sports Development officer and Brian Parker from Calderdale Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Unit.

Guests at the launch, which hailed the 118th CAP in the UK, included Councillor Anne Collins, Coun Bryan Smith, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and as well as staff from both Trinity Academy and North Halifax Grammar School, whose students have been part of the CAP process from the very beginning, completing questionnaires and helping to improve the community they live in.

Derek Lewis, the National Chair of Community Alcohol Partnerships said: “I am delighted at the launch of a Community Alcohol Partnership in Ovenden.

“Community Alcohol Partnerships are a tried and tested way of driving down underage drinking and creating better, safer and friendlier neighbourhoods. Locally tailored partnerships, that recognise that retailers and licensees are an important part of the solution and have been shown to be highly effective in driving down harm.”

Partners include the Police, Council, Fire Service, Local High Schools, Youth Services, Lifeline, Youth Offending, Pennine Housing, OMI, OSCA, Bus Oasis, Threeways and Alcohol Retailers.

CAP encourages local partnership working to tackle drinking misuse and associated antisocial behaviour; recognising that retail is part of the solution and has shown to be more effective than enforcement alone.