Dealing with alcohol in new partnership

Boston's new community inspector Andy Morrice.
Boston's new community inspector Andy Morrice.

Boston could be the first town in Lincolnshire to pilot a national scheme to deal with the problems caused by alcohol abuse.

The Community Alcohol Partnership, which is still in its infancy locally, sees major supermarkets and breweries join forces with the Home Office and feed into a national funding pot which can be drawn from by local teams.

This funding can then be used by local partnerships to fund education and enforcement initiatives.

Boston’s new police community inspector Andy Morrice said: “Both myself and the council are really keen to role it out but a lot of our partners don’t know about it yet.

“To us and the council it’s a no brainer because there’s no financial implications for us. They fund it for us.”

Projects from the fund can include providing lessons on the dangers of alcohol in primary, secondary schools and further education providers.

Insp Morrice says the partnership hopes the educational impact, teaching people about the dangers early could potentially reduce anti-social behaviour and sexual exploitation.

He added: “It’s about tackling the issue before it gets out of hand.”

The education will be backed up by better enforcement by the police and organisations such as Trading Standards using the partnership to carry out more test purchases.

The supermarkets have also offered to train smaller off-licences in the Think 25 campaign, which asks people to ID people they think look under that age.

It also gives the partnerships access to free Citizen Cards which people can carry and are accepted as a form of identification.

So far there has been one meeting to look at the idea, but another is due to take place this month and it is hoped the initiative will be able to begin in September.