Merton kicks off World Cup safe drinking campaign

As the nation is gripped by world cup fever, the Safer Merton partnership, including Merton Council and the Police, are urging drinkers to not let it go to penalties with the launch of their ‘be social’ campaign.

Working in partnership with Wimbledon pubs and clubs, Safer Merton aims to encourage responsible enjoyment of the football with their ‘be social, be sensible, be safe’ campaign launched today at Edwards in Wimbledon.

Whether you have three lions on your shirt or are supporting one of the other 31 countries in the World Cup finals the ‘Be social’ campaign asks everyone to enjoy the celebrations but to look after themselves, not ruin the fun for others with anti-social behaviour and to get home safely at the end of the night. The campaign was first put into place in December 2008 after funding from the Home Office.

The campaign gets pubs and bars in Wimbledon working with Safer Merton to encourage customers to think about their journeys home before their night out by giving out wallet sized cards including the CabWise number. Door and bar staff at some of the town’s clubs and pubs will also be handing out lollipops to customers as they leave venues, a proven way to keep the noise down at the end of a night.

Chief Superintendent Dick Wolfenden, Merton Police said:

‘ In the past we have used this campaign to successfully help people have a safe night out and also reduce alcohol related crime and incidents in Wimbledon Town Centre. Working in partnership again we hope that we will see another decline in incidents but also help everyone enjoy the World Cup together – whichever side they support.”

Councillor Edith Macauley, Merton Council cabinet member for community safety, engagement and equalities said:

‘Everyone seems very excited about this World Cup and we hope people will enjoy coming together to cheer on their team whilst also remembering to look after themselves.

‘Although Merton is one of the safest boroughs in London we know that alcohol related behaviour is an area of concern for residents and by working with our partners on campaigns such as this we hope to help address the issue and also encourage those enjoying their night out in Wimbledon to do so in a safe and responsible way.”

For more tips and advice on enjoying a safe night out go to

Further information:

-The ‘be social, be sensible, be safe’ campaign was launched today (Friday 11 June 2010) and as part of this licensees from the borough gathered at Edwards in Wimbledon town Centre with Chief Superintendent Dick Wolfenden, Merton Police and Councillor Edith Macauley, Merton Council cabinet member for community safety, engagement and equalities. Managers from Edwards, The Watershed, The Terrace and Bar Sia helped launch the campaign today with the majority of establishments throughout Wimbledon also lending their support.

– CabWise – CabWise is a service run by Transport for London encouraging people to not use illegal minicabs and to plan their journey home in advance. By texting CAB to 60835 people can get the numbers of one taxi and two licensed minicab firms, in the area they are texting from.

– Lollipops are a proven way to reduce loud and anti-social behaviour as drinkers leave premises and during our previous campaigns a number of the pubs on board gave positive feedback about this helping with the issue.