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A new partnership highlighting the risks of underage drinking will be launched in East Renfrewshire on Wednesday. The launch will take place at the Asda store in Barrhead at 10am and will be attended by local councillors and key partners.

Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs) are made up of partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups and health providers, working together to highlight the risks of underage drinking and improve the health and wellbeing of local children and young people.

The East Renfrewshire CAP will work with youth services and local organisations to provide alcohol-free activities for young people. It will also work with local schools to educate young people about underage drinking and ensure that they are equipped to make the right decisions about issues such as alcohol and drugs and anti-social and criminal behaviour.

Working with local retailers CAP aims to help them avoid making underage sales and reduce ‘proxy’ sales where adults buy alcohol for under-18s.

Partners in the East Renfrewshire CAP include, trading standards, licensing, community safety and local schools in East Renfrewshire Council, as well Scottish Fire & Rescue. The CAP will be coordinated locally by Police Scotland.

Speaking at the launch of the CAP, Inspector Michelle Grant from Giffnock Police Office 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. Young people 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 in this new CAP initiative to tackle these issues.”

Derek Lewis, Chair of CAP comments: “I am always pleased to see the launch of new partnerships. We know from research that underage drinking can lead to many social and educational problems for children and young people. We also know from our evaluations that CAPs are having a significant impact on reducing alcohol consumption amongst 13- and 16-year-olds in the areas in which they operate.”

“Local CAP schemes are established and run by people from a variety of organisations within their communities, including retailers, local authorities, police forces and schools to identify and tackle the problems associated with underage drinking. All CAPs are tailored to the needs of their local community which means that they are highly effective in getting to the root cause of the problem.”

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