With the Christmas party season underway, a new campaign has been launched to help residents and visiting revellers get home safely after going out in Merton.
Safer Merton, the partnership between Merton council, the Police and other safety groups, is asking partygoers to drink sensibly and get home safely as part of its ‘Some things you only do when you’re drunk’ campaign. The campaign offers a free text service for taxi numbers and information on getting home safely via beer mats, posters and a website.
This is aimed at encouraging everyone who intends to enjoy a night out in Merton at this time of the year to take simple steps to ensure their evening ends on a high note so that they can get home safely. All people have to do is go to the webnsite to get telephone numbers for bus and safe taxi services.
Thousands of beer mats in drinking spots throughout the borough will provide drinkers with a travel numbers pop out to keep in their wallet and there will also be posters in pub toilets reminding drinkers at their first loo-stop to think about how to get home. Everyone who uses the text service also enters a prize draw to win a variety of exciting prizes.
Merton is one of the safest boroughs in London but this campaign focuses on the fact that excess alcohol can impair your judgement and make you vulnerable as a potential victim of crime. Last year there were 1.2 million alcohol related crimes according to the Home Office, with 40% of A& E admissions linked to alcohol, rising to 70% at 5am. There were 552 ambulance call outs in Merton last year for alcohol related injuries.
As part of a longer term strategy Merton Police and the council are working very closely with a number of organisations to make sure everyone using the bars in the borough can have fun in as safe a way as possible. To assist with this the Police’s Christmas Crime initiative will mean extra patrols on over the party season, all supported by the CCTV system in the borough.
Chief Superintendent Chris Bourlet, Merton Police says:
“We want people to come to Merton and enjoy themselves in the run up to Christmas and New Year and so this campaign just asks that if you are going to drink, please drink sensibly and make sure you can get home safely.”
Councillor David Simpson, Cabinet member for Partnership and Community Safety, Merton council is supporting the campaign and notes:
“Thousands of people use the borough to enjoy the festive season and we want them to get home safely. This campaign is not about telling people not to drink, but to ask t