Hero award for officer who set up Thanet scheme to tackle underage drinking

CTSI chairman Malcolm Craig, Craig Mackinlay MP, Neil Butcher and Robert Wright (CTSI College of Fellows).

A Trading Standards officer has been recognised for his work to tackle underage drinking and anti-social behaviour on the isle.

County council worker Neil Butcher received the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Hero Award at a ceremony in London for his work establishing two Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs) in Ramsgate and Broadstairs.

The scheme brings together local retailers and licensees, trading standards, police, health services and education providers among others to tackle the problem of underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour. Neil is currently in the process of setting up a third CAP involving schools from Herne Bay

CAP’s Programme Manager Gillian Powell, who nominated Neil, said another scheme is being launched with Neil’s help in Tonbridge on July 13.

Among his many achievements Neil built strong relationships with local retailers and supermarkets, warning adults that it is an offence to buy alcohol for children through the display of large posters. The display led to a vast improvement and an increase in ID checks while ensuring that Trading Standards’ relationship with retailers is a supportive one.

He obtained a grant from Kent Fire and Rescue for CAPs work and organised training for teachers from East Kent College by the Alcohol Education Trust on how best to teach special educational needs on risk-taking behaviour.

The CTSI Hero Award celebrates individuals or groups of people whose outstanding contribution towards consumer protection in our communities have made a significant impact.

CTSI Chief Executive Leon Livermore said: “Neil’s resolve to stand up to underage drinking and its associated antisocial behaviour is second to none. He has gone beyond all call of duty and has made a huge impact on his community.”

Craig Mackinlay, MP for South Thanet, added: “Success depends on exceptional and committed individuals like Neil who are willing and able to take on a leadership role in the local community to tackle underage drinking. I applaud his determination to help combat such behaviour.”