Scheme to tackle underage drinking in Holloway

A MASSIVE new scheme to tackle underage drinking will target adults who buy booze for children - and shopkeepers selling alcohol to youngsters.

The Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) - which involves Islington Council, police, Tesco, retailers and schools - is aiming to stop drunken teenagers causing trouble in an area between Holloway and Caledonian Road.

The project – the first ever in inner London - will look at tackling “proxy sales” when adults buy alcohol on behalf of a young person.

Councillor Barbara Sidnell, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “Young people are drinking more and starting younger so we are taking firm action to tackle underage sales and the problems caused by alcohol.

“Residents are fed up with booze-fuelled anti-social behaviour on their streets and estates. Working with partners such as Tesco and the police, we intend to crack down on those who sell alcohol to children and on adults who purchase alcohol on behalf of children.”

The scheme includes binge drinking themed drama workshops at schools.

Police officers and council youth service workers will also be meeting youngsters who are hanging around in streets and parks. Local retailers will be encouraged to report any incidents where drunken teenagers are misbehaving.

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Inspector Steve Lewington, of Islington Police safer neighbourhood team, said: “Projects like this help to combat under-age drinking and associated anti-social behaviour because they involve joined up working with police, the council, local businesses and the community. Safer neighbourhood officers will be focused on educating parents and young people on the risks of alcohol abuse.”

Tesco will pay for an independent evaluation of the Community Action Partnership scheme.

Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Tesco’s executive director of corporate and legal affairs, said: “Alcohol misuse is a major problem and our customers are concerned in particular about the anti-social behaviour it causes.”