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How can communities influence alcohol licensing at a local level? Licensing Officers’ perspectives of the barriers and facilitators to sustaining engagement in a volunteer-led alcohol harm reduction approach

Ure, CM; Burns, EJ; Hargreaves, SC; Hidajat, M; Coffey, M; de Vocht, F; Audrey, S; Hare, S; Ardern, K; Cook, PA

Authors

SC Hargreaves

M Hidajat

F de Vocht

S Audrey

S Hare

K Ardern



Abstract

Despite the World Health Organization’s assertion that communities need to become involved in
reducing alcohol harm, evidence of community engagement in alcohol licensing decision-making in
England remains limited. The evaluation of the Communities in Charge of Alcohol (CICA)
programme offers policymakers, Licensing Authorities and public health practitioners, evidence
regarding a specific volunteer-led, place-based approach designed to enable community engagement
in licensing with the aim of reducing localised alcohol harm. The study explored factors affecting the
sustainable involvement of volunteers in alcohol licensing decision-making from six Licensing
Officers' perspectives, through semi-structured interviews. Routinely collected crime, disorder, and
hospital admissions data were reviewed for further context as proxies for alcohol-related harm.
Licensing Officers perceived sustainable engagement to be impacted by: (i) the extent of alignment
with statutory requirements and local political support; (ii) the ability of Licensing Officers to
operationalise CICA and support local assets, and; (iii) the opportunity for, and ability of, volunteers
to raise licensing issues. The perspectives of Licensing Officers indicate complexities inherent in
seeking to empower residents to engage in licensing decision-making at a community level. These
relate to statutory and political factors, funding, social norms regarding engagement in licensing
decision-making, and the need for networks between critical actors including Responsible Authorities
and communities. The evidence indicates that after increasing community capacity to influence
alcohol availability decision-making at local level, communities continue to struggle to influence
statutory processes to affect alcohol availability where they live and work. More understanding of
how to enable effective community engagement is required.

Citation

Ure, C., Burns, E., Hargreaves, S., Hidajat, M., Coffey, M., de Vocht, F., …Cook, P. (2021). How can communities influence alcohol licensing at a local level? Licensing Officers’ perspectives of the barriers and facilitators to sustaining engagement in a volunteer-led alcohol harm reduction approach. International Journal of Drug Policy, 98, 103412. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103412

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 2, 2021
Online Publication Date Aug 27, 2021
Publication Date Dec 1, 2021
Deposit Date Aug 4, 2021
Publicly Available Date Aug 31, 2021
Journal International Journal of Drug Policy
Print ISSN 0955-3959
Publisher Elsevier
Volume 98
Pages 103412
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103412
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2021.103412
Related Public URLs http://www.journals.elsevier.com/international-journal-of-drug-policy/
Additional Information Projects : Communities in Charge of Alcohol (CICA)

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