Alcohol policy / 15 March 2016

BBPA writes to Local Alcohol Action Areas

The Home Office has now named the 33 areas that will be participating in phase two of the Local Alcohol Action Areas (LAAA) initiative. The second phase was announced in 2016 with the introduction of the new Modern Crime Prevention Strategy and builds upon the first LAAA initiative, which saw the BBPA offer its support to the 20 areas involved. The second phase has three core aims related to reducing alcohol-related health harms, diversification of the night-time economy and preventing alcohol-related crime and disorder. Regarding the latter, participating areas will be required to address one or more of a core set of issues including:

• How can local areas improve the collection, sharing and use of data between A&E Departments, local authorities and the police?
• How can local authorities, the police and businesses ensure the safe movement of people in the night time economy?
• How can local areas expand their use of safe spaces?
• How can local authorities, the police and business work together to help prevent the sale of alcohol to drunks in both the off- and on-trades?
• How can local authorities, the police and business work together to help design out crime?

The participating areas will be aided by the Home Office with a support manager and will have access to expertise from elsewhere in central Government. Support will also come from members of the Local Alcohol Partnerships Group, which is facilitated by the Portman Group and in which the BBPA is a participant. Other members include DrinkAware and local partnership initiatives such as National Pubwatch, Best Bar None, Purple Flag, Street Pastors and Community Alcohol Partnerships. The BBPA has long supported such initiatives.

The launch of the first phase was broadly welcomed by the trade but some initial uncertainty had developed around the exact role of business throughout the process. This time there is no uncertainty and the launch of the second phase is undoubtedly a testament to the success of phase one, which saw businesses work closely with local authorities and police in order to provide effective local solutions for alcohol-related issues. This kind of close partnership working has been consistently supported by the BBPA and its members. It is encouraging that businesses are increasingly identified as key stakeholders when addressing local alcohol-related issues. The local knowledge that businesses possess, alongside their willingness to create a safe and responsible environment, is vital and they are progressively recognised, not as the cause of the problem, but as the solution.

With this in mind, an official BBPA offer of support has now been sent to the participating areas to outline a number of ways in which the Association and its members can help to make a difference at local level with targeted and coordinated solutions. The offer of support includes assistance in utilising the BBPA’s campaign on serving drunks, which was initiated as a commitment to the Home Office and its Modern Crime Prevention Strategy, and is a central focus for many of the participating areas. The offer also highlights the BBPA’s unit awareness campaign and age verification materials, as well as the vast range of up-to-date guidance that the BBPA provides to assist licensees with all aspects of running a pub. Finally, it encourages stakeholders in participating areas to engage with BBPA members at a local level.

It is promising that Government now recognises the strength of the local partnership approach in tackling alcohol related issues. The BBPA and its members look forward to working with the participating areas in the near future.

Written by

Philippa Borrowman

Policy and information officer

Further Reading