The CAP (Community Alcohol Project)
Whilst virtually every town in the country faces alcohol issues, Midsomer Norton took its first step towards changing behaviour by launching a Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) on 16th July 2012.
The Midsomer Norton CAP is made up of a wide range of stakeholders including Midsomer Norton Town Council, Bath & North East Somerset Council, NHS BANES, Police, schools, retailers, local publicans and many more organisations and groups. The partnership works closely together to reduce under aged drinking of alcohol, irresponsible adult drinking of alcohol and alcohol related crime and anti-social behaviour making Midsomer Norton an even better place to live, work and play.
The initiative sees a greater focus on a wide variety of actions and initiatives to educate, enforce and change public perception including NHS BANES working with the schools and youth groups to educate young people and families on the health implications of under aged drinking. Enforcement is carried out by Trading Standards who work with their partners, including the police and local retailers and increased training is provided for retailers and publicans on age related products.
A key aspect of the partnership is to break down the barriers between retailers, publicans and the enforcement agencies, and to recognise that by working together alongside the wider community, including the local youngsters and their families, everyone can make a difference.
Midsomer Norton Town Council is determined to make sure the town centre is a place where the whole community feels safe to go for a night out. Recognising the success of the Street Marshals in Bath city centre the town council introduced their own Street Marshal scheme in 2012 with support through the Community Alcohol Partnership initiative. The Street Marshals are fully funded by Midsomer Norton Town Council and patrol the High Street on Friday and Saturday nights from 10:00pm to 03:00am. Their Council branded jackets makes them easily recognisable and provides a visual deterrent against crime and anti-social behaviour.
The scheme, fully supported by the town’s Pub watch, is operated by RS Security Ltd after a competition for a new contract was completed in October 2014. The Town Council is grateful for the support of the The Bath & District Business Crime Reduction Partnership in providing radios at a discounted rate for this community focused initiative.
Midsomer Norton now has its own Street Pastors. The first patrol started mid October 2013 after several months training and Pastors operate on Friday and Saturday nights in the Midsomer Norton Town Centre area – 10pm – 3am. They have 26 fully trained Street Pastors and 38 Prayer Pastors all from the local churches. The Street Pastors Initiative is an interdenominational Christian response to today’s social problems, spearheaded by Ascension Trust. There are over 300 Street Pastor initiatives throughout the UK and more than 10,000 trained Street Pastors.
A Designated Public Place Order for Midsomer Norton
In November 2012, Bath and North East Somerset Council accepted a recommendation that a Designated Public Places Order be set up in an area centred on Midsomer Norton High Street and the Order finally came into force in April 2013. At that time it became an offence for anyone inside the designated area to refuse to give up any alcoholic drink when asked to do so by a police officer or other accredited person. Once that offence is committed, the person becomes liable to arrest and prosecution. The Order does not affect open spaces where drinking is already allowed under license, such as outside the Riverside licensed premise.
The map above shows the extent of the designated area.