Ripon - Page 4

Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) launched in Ripon to tackle underage drinking and antisocial behaviour

Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) has officially launched in Ripon (6 April 2022) to help tackle underage drinking and associated antisocial behaviour.

Nationally, 240 CAPs have been introduced, and there they are a proven approach to the issue.

In the CAPS already running:

  • 61% reductions in weekly drinking by teenagers
  • 50% drop in young people hanging round shops and asking adults to buy alcohol
  • 42% decline in anti-social behaviour involving drink

Police will work with retailers, schools, neighbourhood groups, Trading Standards, local authorities and other emergency and health services.

CAP is a community interest company with an aim to prevent underage drinking and resulted harm in local communities.

The aim of the scheme is to tackle the problem at more of a base-root level, and to stop the sale of alcohol to under-18s, to stop “proxy” purchasing of alcohol by adults to give to under-18s, and to educate young people to understand the risks better.

The action is in response to concerns raised by local paper, concerns that have been backed up by the force’s own statistics.

Zoë Metcalfe, Police and Fire Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said:

I am really pleased to be working with the Community Alcohol Partnership to help reduce some of the effect that alcohol has on our communities and the harm it can cause our young people.

Keeping our young people safe is paramount and this proactive approach to educate on substance misuse, provide alcohol-free activities and avoid underage sales demonstrates how local organisations are uniting to offer support.

I want to thank the many organisations involved in this project for their time and enthusiasm and I am looking forward to hearing how this project develops.

The scheme is being led by PCSO Helenor Gwatkin

PCSO Helenor Gwatkin said:

The CAP means that we work together with many other partners to tackle underage drinking and the antisocial behaviour associated with it.

We work with other community members and partners to look at the best way forward. That isn’t necessarily enforcement, but through education, early intervention and diversionary techniques.

The work is with many agencies such as trading standards, councils, youth workers and all local retailers.

We have put out surveys and there is a perception that there is an underage drinking problem.

Part of this is education so I am going into schools and working as part of their PSHE lessons (Personal, social, health and economic). We look at how alcohol effects the body and can effect the community, how it can effect them personally or their family group.

The ambulance service are onboard, and will do first aid training,  the local military also want to get involved and do some engagement work.

PCSO Helenor Gwatkin
PCSO Helenor Gwatkin
Superintendent Steve Thomas, District Commander
Superintendent Steve Thomas, District Commander

Superintendent Steve Thomas, District Commander, said:

I am absolutely delighted to see another community alcohol partnership up and running, and launched.

We have already started to see the success of other similar partnerships.

It is a huge issue when we think about the damage that can be caused by not getting to grips with alcohol related problems.

I know how hard the policing team and partners have worked over the last 2-years to reduce antisocial behaviour, much of which alcohol sit at the heart of.

This will be another string to our partnership bow in tackling this. Working even closer together with this partnership will help us reduce demand, reduce antisocial behaviour and those issues that really do eat at the heart of community safety, and the feeling and sense of community for those that live around Ripon.

This will help Ripon go from the strength to strength.

Kate Winstanley, Director, Community Alcohol Partnerships, said:

I look after the national programme of CAPs across the UK and Ripon with be the 250th CAP that we have launched in 15-years, so it is quite a landmark.

CAPS across the county have proved really successful for many reasons. Every CAP is locally managed, and it is the local partners that have that knowledge of what the problems are, making it very much locally determined by the partners.

It looks very holistically of the supply and demand drivers for underage drinking, and it puts actions in place to tackle all those different factors.

And very importantly, it brings all the right organisations together, sitting at the same table.  It’s also important that the traditional multi-agency partners, it also brings together retailers. It gives a clear role for retailers who can get messages across very effectively.

The latest impact statistics show a more than 60% reduction in drinking for 13 to 16-year-olds that translates into significant benefits for health and wellbeing, and future life chances of the young people.


Inspector Alex Langley, Harrogate Outer, said:

We have had numerous problems in Ripon with youths and adults, and saw an increase in that over lockdown.

We have seen more antisocial behaviour and have used traditional methods of policing with over patrols or flooding problem areas with officers – that has worked really well in some areas.

This latest tactic is about bringing the community together, and police amongst ourselves, to identify problems early.

The CAP aims to support everybody to make a meaningful change, as against a sticking plaster.

I am expecting this to achieve some big changes for Ripon, and long-term changes as well.


Julia Stack, Manager of the Community Safety Hub/ CCTV for the Harrogate District, said:

The community safety hub is about bringing partners together and the CAP is a model that we are keen to work alongside.

We deal with things like community attentions,  antisocial behaviour, and alcohol is often a key factor in a lot of the work that we do.

Having worked with partnership working for many years, I see that partnership working is a really effective model, and we recognise that no one agency can do it on their own.


Councillor Peter Horton said:

The Ripon Council has given its fullest support in setting up this Community Alcohol Partnership.

Over the last few months we have had many reports of antisocial behaviour, and much of that will be down to the consumption of alcohol.

It is a very appropriate time to launch the CAP in Ripon.


Jess Ward, Youth Worker said:

I am excited for the CAP to come to Ripon. We work on the ground with young people, including young people that are hard to reach or disengaged. That can be forefront of the antisocial behaviour or underage drinking. We want to do more to support them, informally help educate them, just work with them.


Trading Standards work with the retailers, rather than directly with the young people. They work to get them back into compliance if they have received complaints of underage purchases.

As last-resort, when retailers continue to sell alcohol to under-18s  they can use under 18’s to attempt a test purchases. That can lead to a fixed penalty notice or a prosecution. They aim to offer advice and training before any measures of enforcement.

Ripon Sainsbury’s have said that they are very pleased and  excited to be part of this and what we can give to it, and supporting other retailers in the area getting involved in the CAP.

See for further details on the scheme.