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Derry drinking project hailed national success

Category: Northern Ireland

Published: 13th Jan 2012 13:23:58

A project aimed at cutting underage drinking in Londonderry has been hailed a national success.

The Community Alcohol Partnership scheme was launched last year to tackle underage drinking and anti-social behaviour.

The government's champion for safer communities, Baroness Newlove visited Derry on Friday to see the

impact the initiative has had on local communities.

Karen Philips from Derry City Council who oversees the project said, "We are delighted to

welcome Baroness Newlove to Derry to show her the significant improvements the Community Alcohol

Partnership has made over the past year.

"Peoples' lives have changed so much. It has involved a lot of hard work from a lot of different agencies.

"The problem has not been solved and we recognise that there is still much to do."

The visit comes as the scheme announced results of the interim evaluation. It shows the

impact during 2011 on underage drinking and related anti-social behaviour in the Creggan, Rosemount,

Beechwood and Glen areas of the city.

The report outlined that alcohol related incidents, where young people were causing 'annoyance'

dropped by 50 percent. The figures were taken from the period May to September 2011, compared to

the same period in 2010.

PSNI Community Police Officer, Sergeant Ray Wilson, said "We visited off licences, we put officers into

schools to talk to young people about how their actions affect others.

Through that we have seen a major attitude change on the streets from the young people."

Rosemount pensioner Lily O'Hagan who lives in Rosemount said it has changed her life, "You could not

even sit in your living room because the crowds gathered outside. The language and behaviour was

something desperate. They now speak to you and say hello. It is really fantastic."

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