Community alcohol partnership shares benefits of national proof of age scheme
An information session for licensees is being held as part of an initiative by the Shropshire Council-led Oswestry Community Alcohol Partnership (Os-CAP) to place the focus on proof of age.
Os-CAP aims to tackle underage drinking in Oswestry and is run by Shropshire Council’s trading standards team.
Under the Os-CAP scheme, Oswestry’s Pubwatch is holding the information session for licensees in the town to explain the benefits of the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) and to encourage pubs and alcohol retailers to promote PASS accredited proof of age cards to young people. Kate Winstanley, PASS Director, will deliver the session to licensees.
The work is linked to the national Challenge 25 campaign which requires staff in licensed premises to challenge all customers who appear to be under 25 years old. An extensive survey carried out by the Retail of Alcohol Standards Group, which consists of major retailers, found that staff have great difficulty in assessing ages correctly and lack confidence to challenge customers. The Challenge 25 policy removes the need for staff to accurately assess ages and increases the expectation of young people that they will be asked for proof of age.
Kate Winstanley, PASS Director, said:
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to attend Oswestry’s Pubwatch meeting and to help licensees understand the benefits of promoting and accepting PASS accredited proof of age cards. My aim is to ensure licensees have a fuller understanding of the impact that PASS ID cards have when tackling underage drinking and to dispel any myths about the scheme that may currently exist amongst licensees.”
The Chairman of Oswestry’s Pubwatch, Lawrence Francis, added:
“Whilst many licensees already recognise the importance of PASS ID cards, some remain sceptical. As a result, we have specifically opened up the session with Kate Winstanley to all pub licensees in Oswestry; we are not restricting this to Pubwatch members. We strongly encourage as many licensees to attend as possible and for everyone to get behind promoting and accepting PASS ID cards. It is important that we are united in our approach.”
Os-CAP involves Shropshire Council, alcohol retailers, pubs and the local community working together in a bid to reduce the crime, anti-social behaviour and harm caused by underage drinking.
Councillor Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for trading standards, said:
“The Os-CAP brings the trade, the community, enforcers and many other partners together to tackle the effects of underage drinking in Oswestry. Promoting proof of age together with Challenge 25 is just one example of the work that the Os-CAP is undertaking to bring about a change in attitudes towards underage drinking.”
Keith Barrow, Vince Hunt, Martin Bennett and Bill Benyon, Shropshire councillors for Oswestry, fully support the work of Os-CAP in highlighting the importance of proof of age policies and Challenge 25.
The Pubwatch-run session is taking place on 1 November 2011 at The Red Lion Inn on Bailey Head in Oswestry. Further details can be obtained from Lawrence Francis at The Red Lion Inn or on 01691 656077; non-Pubwatch members can also contact Rob Jones at The Oak Inn or on 01691 718810.
Retail and Alcohol Standards Group and Challenge 25, visit www.wsta.co.uk
VALIDATE UK, visit www.validateuk.co.uk
Citizencard, visit www.citizencard.com
Os-CAP, visit shropshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards.nsf
PASS scheme, visit www.pass-scheme.org.uk/