A NEW scheme to highlight the risks of underage drinking in East Renfrewshire is set to be launched in Barrhead.

The initiative from Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs), which is made up of partnerships between local authorities, police, schools, retailers, neighbourhood groups, and health providers, will be launched at Asda in the town on Wednesday, July 26, at 10am.

The service will aim to work with youngsters in the local authority and provide alcohol-free activities, while it will also work with schools to educate youths about underage drinking.

Partners of the scheme in East Renfrewshire include trading standards, licensing, community safety and local schools, as well as the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, and it will be coordinated locally by Police Scotland.

Inspector Michelle Grant from Giffnock Police Office said: “Young people can face difficult challenges in their lives, and we need to ensure they have the confidence to help them make the right decisions, especially since alcohol abuse can severely impact on the ability to make positive choices.

“Young people drinking can also impact on the whole community and we have listened to local concerns, and I am pleased to see the community and partners coming together in this new CAP initiative to tackle these issues.”

Derek Lewis, Chair of CAP, added: “I am always pleased to see the launch of new partnerships.

“We know from research that underage drinking can lead to many social and educational problems for children and young people. We also know from our evaluations that CAPs are having a significant impact on reducing alcohol consumption amongst 13 and 16-year-olds in the areas in which they operate.

“Local CAP schemes are established and run by people from a variety of organisations within their communities, including retailers, local authorities, police forces, and schools to identify and tackle the problems associated with underage drinking.

“All CAPs are tailored to the needs of their local community which means that they are highly effective in getting to the root cause of the problem.”