Lisburn & Castlereagh Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) has teamed up with the PSNI and local licensed premises to raise awareness of the One Punch Can Kill campaign.
In the run up to Christmas, which is traditionally a very busy time for licensed premises and restaurants, the campaign is aimed at preventing senseless violence among young people - violence that’s often fuelled by excessive alcohol consumption.
It aims to stop them from making split-second decisions that could ruin their lives and the lives of others.
Lisburn & Castlereagh PCSP has funded beer mats carrying the One Punch Can Kill message, and these will be distributed by the PSNI to all licensed premises in the council area.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative, PCSP Chairman Alderman Michael Henderson said: “This campaign is a timely reminder at the start of the festive period of the shocking reality that simple acts of violence can have tragic circumstances.
“The consequences of assault don’t stop at injury or death. An assault can steal your future and your actions could result in negative impacts on your family, your employment, overseas travel, the guilt of taking another person’s life and could result in a criminal record.
“Victims of assault don’t always walk away with just a bruise. Permanent disability, ongoing care by family or friends, employment and future prospects taken and the inability to travel overseas can all result.”
Chief Inspector Lorraine Dobson from Lisburn & Castlereagh Police commented: “The next few months are traditionally a busy time for local nightclubs and restaurants with revellers celebrating the festivities, however, ‘one punch attacks’ can and do happen.
“Unfortunately the majority of one punch incidents are fuelled by excessive alcohol consumption and can have a devastating impact on the victim and their family. In such cases the offender will likely face a murder or manslaughter charge and have a criminal record for the rest of their life. This type of conviction can impose significant restrictions on an individual’s future.”
Chief Inspector Dobson added: “Raising awareness of the dangers of one punch incidents is important and that is why we are pleased to be working with the PCSP in this way.
“Our message is to enjoy your night out, but please remember that One Punch Can Kill.”