A NEW scheme targeting alcohol misuse and anti-social behaviour is to be launched in South Ockendon.

The campaign's launch follows on from the success enjoyed by the Corringham Community Alcohol Partnership - made up of council agencies, Essex Police and local off licence retailers.

In the first six months from its launch in June last year, the 2013 campaign saw improved compliance from alcohol retailers, reduced complaints about underage sales, and a 23 per cent reduction in reports of nuisance youths.

The Ockendon CAP launches on Tuesday, June 24 with an event between 11am and 2pm at the South Ockendon Centre.

Cllr Phil Smith – portfolio holder for public protection - said: “The Corringham CAP was a great success and made a huge difference to local people. It is continuing and now we’re looking at starting a second scheme in South Ockendon.

“We’ll be engaging with groups of young people, we’ll see police confiscating some alcohol that is being consumed in public, and we will be carrying out test purchases, making sure licenced premises are enforcing the Challenge 25 scheme and checking people’s ages.”

He added: “In Corringham we saw a marked reduction in the number of premises selling to underage people and the number of young people hanging around the area with alcohol.

“All off-licence premises in the area signed up to challenge 25 and there were increased hours of visible policing.

“We expect to see the same sort of response in Ockendon too.”

The scheme is intended to help communities tackle alcohol-related issues, cross-referencing information between the police and council so support can be provided to alcohol retailers and publicans as well as engaging young people.

What does the scheme involve?

*Education – Work will be undertaken with retailers to inform and support them in undertaking their duties with regards to selling alcohol.

*Public perception – The public will be engaged and consulted in order to get a clear picture of how alcohol-related issues are perceived.

*Enforcement – Licensed premises will be visited regularly along with regular community-based enforcement evenings.

*Intelligence – All the above is intended to generate intelligence on concerns that need to be addressed. The key point is to ensure this is shared among the partners.