Eric Pickles and Baroness Newlove launch drink crackdown in Great Yarmouth

Norfolk's second community alcohol partnership (CAP) was launched today at the town's Salvation Army HQ in Yarmouth Way by national CAP chairman Baroness Helen Newlove and the secretary of state for communities, Eric Pickles.

The drive, initially focusing on south Yarmouth, will see agencies including police, trading standards, the borough council, schools, stores, voluntary sector organisations and The Salvation Army join together to focus their efforts on the problem of alcohol abuse.

And the importance of providing activities to interest young people, as well as curbing street drinking through education and enforcement, was emphasised with the donation of �25,000 to cadet group TS Warrior.

The money - �10,000 from CAP and �5000 each from the county and borough councils and Norfolk police - will be used by the unit in Steam Mill Lane, Cobholm, to buy a motor boat to help youngsters gain qualifications in seamanship.

Unit chairman Duncan Boyne said: 'It will help our youngsters get jobs serving the offshore windfarms; at the moment boat drivers have to be brought in from all over the country because there is a shortage.'


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Mr Boyne said more than 100 youngsters, aged eight to 18, now attended cadet meetings three days a week.

'We take them home by minibus and if we see other youngsters hanging around street corners, we stop and try to interest them too,' he said.

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Their combination of teaching youngsters old-fashioned manners and giving them interesting activities had even been successful in turning around the lives of hardened estate gang members, stuck in a rut of drinking and crime.

Baroness Newlove, a leading campaigner against the UK's binge drinking culture since her husband Garry Newlove was murdered by three youths in Warrington in Cheshire in 2007, praised the cadet unit's work as she formally launched the 36th CAP in Britain.

She said the negative aspect of alcohol was graphically shown by the case of her husband who was 'kicked to death, 14 times in the head, by an alcohol-fuelled group of youths with girls involved too'.

She said: 'I am really passionate about supporting young people to do better things with their lives and helping communities become happier, healthier and safer.'

Mr Pickles said: 'This project is about local people coming together and finding local solutions and I want to meet all the different groups making this area a success.'

The key areas the CAP will work towards are reducing the incidents of alcohol sales to young people under 18; reducing proxy purchasing and general supply to under 18s; reducing anti-social behaviour associated with alcohol consumption; improving the health of street drinkers by reducing alcohol consumption to safer levels and raising awareness of the risks associated with drinking alcohol.

Police will also be working with major retailers such as Tesco and Asda to help smaller shops develop a responsible retailing culture that embraces the Challenge 25 policy.

Local police chief Supt Nick Davison said: 'A lthough a lot of the principles are not new I believe the CAP will allow us to develop a platform with all relevant stakeholders.'

Salvation Army spokesman Gordon Tyrrell said they were proud to host the CAP launch at their centre which hosted a regular drop-in, Herbies, which had helped many street drinkers and homelss people.

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