Castleford partners tackle underage drinking

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Community partners in Castleford are tackling underage drinking through a new scheme which ‘scores’ off-licences.

Castleford Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAP) and Spectrum Community Health CIC have launched the Off-Sales Accreditation Scheme (OSA), which measures off-licences against four core licensing standards. The scheme encourages retailers to promote the legal drinking age and raise awareness of harms caused to families and communities by underage drinking.

On February 3, the first three stores to complete the assessment were presented with Five Star certificates by Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper. The stores were Jill & Andy’s, on Borrowdale Drive, J&M Wines, on Smawthorne Lane, and Sainsbury’s Local, also on Smawthorne Lane.

Andy Simms, community development alcohol practitioner for Spectrum, said: “This scheme allows us to work closely with local businesses to reduce underage drinking and raise awareness of the impact that it can have on local communities. We are delighted that three businesses have received Five Star Awards, and as the project progresses we are hopeful that more retailers in Castleford will sign up to the scheme.”

Off licences are scored in terms of the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm. Each off-licence is awarded a points total and scored from one to five stars. The six-month pilot will run until August 2017, when it will be evaluated. If successful, the project could extend to other areas of Wakefield and CAPs across the country.