‘Punched Out Cold’ campaign heads to schools during One Punch Awareness Week (18-22 September 2023)
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During One Punch Awareness Week (18-22 September 2023), North Yorkshire Police’s School Liaison Officers are holding the first in a series of special talks with secondary school students about the catastrophic consequences of one punch incidents.
The visits are part of the force’s ‘Punched Out Cold’ campaign backed by the One Punch UK charity.
The aim is to help prevent tragic deaths and life-changing injuries resulting from momentary acts of violence.
As One Punch UK advises, it is always best to "stop, think and walk away" in such situations.
During the summer holidays, the campaign has targeted men aged 18 to 35 at pubs, bars, gyms and sports clubs. This aspect will be repeated during the festive period. You can read more about it here.
Attention has now turned to secondary school students, with education and awareness seen as key factors in positively changing behaviour in the long term.
Sergeant Heidi Lewis, Children and Young People lead at North Yorkshire Police, said:
“Increasing awareness about one punch incidents is vitally important for everyone, but especially so for young people who may find themselves in potentially violent situations at some point in their lives.
“During the visits, our police School Liaison Officers will highlight tragic one punch case studies and discuss various scenarios with the students.
“We stress the fact that you risk seriously injuring someone if you raise a fist - even just one punch can prove fatal.”
Sgt Lewis added:
“There are also the consequences if you are found guilty of manslaughter and end up in prison. This will have a lasting impact on your future education and employment prospects, and you and your family will have to live with the guilt and shame forever.
"One punch incidents can have a hugely destructive effect, on both victims and perpetrators and their families. The consequences can be devastating, completely altering the lives of all concerned.
“North Yorkshire Police wholeheartedly endorses the One Punch UK charity’s advice to ‘stop, think and walk away’ from potentially violent confrontations.
“We believe our early intervention and prevention approach to this issue will make a lasting impression and help young people make safer choices both now and in years to come.”
The school visits during One Punch Awareness Week are just the start of the education campaign, with one punch awareness sessions to be held throughout the school year.