This festive season Merton says ‘know your tipple’

With the festive season upon us and Christmas parties getting underway, Merton Council has found out that the majority of office workers around the borough do not know how many units of alcohol they are drinking and asks – Do you?

As part of its ‘be social, be sensible, be safe’ campaign run in conjunction with Wimbledon’s pubs and bars, Safer Merton has conducted a survey with office workers from around Merton. The survey found that over 90% of people asked are underestimating how many units are in a large glass of wine and nearly 70% don’t know how many units are in a pint of strong cider, beer or lager.

The survey also highlighted that almost 60% of respondents are likely to use alcohol to have more fun at their office Christmas parties. Close to a quarter admit to having done something they regret as a result of drinking at a work Christmas party and about 5% say they can’t remember.

The ‘be social’ campaign aims to encourage people to make the most of the local nightlife and have fun this festive season, but to also think about what they are drinking, look after themselves and ensure they can get home safely.

Over half the people asked said they use public transport to get home after a big night out and 40% pre-book a taxi, however almost one quarter stated they walk, 7% hail a mini cab and 10% stated they get home ‘however they can’. With these stats in mind, working with pubs and bars in Wimbledon, Safer Merton is urging revellers to get home safely, and advises adding the ‘CabWise’ text number 60835 to your mobile to make sure you have a safe option whatever happens.

This year’s ‘be social’ campaign links in well with the ongoing cross-party overview and scrutiny task group who are looking at late night drinking in Wimbledon and hoping to identify how local residents and businesses are affected by drinking in Merton’s town centres. They are also doing a survey and are keen to hear your views, to get involved go to

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

“Christmas is a great time to get together and have fun with friends and colleagues. Our ‘be social’ campaign is about telling people to make the most of it and enjoy Merton’s nightlife but to do so in a responsible way, which keeps them safe and ensures they get home safely.

“Merton is one of the safest boroughs in London, but we know that alcohol related behaviour is a concern for residents. With campaigns such as this and the ongoing scrutiny review, we hope to address issues and make sure everyone can feel safe and enjoy the town centres at Christmas and throughout the year.”

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




The free online survey was completed by 132 people from organisations around Merton.
The number of units in a pint of strong cider, beer or lager is 3 – 74.6% of respondents thought it was lower, with 38.1% going for 2 units.
There are 3.3 units in a large glass of wine – 92.9% of respondents thought it was lower.

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.

Safer Merton: is the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership for Merton. Partners include the council, the police, the fire brigade, Sutton and Merton NHS, the probation service and more.