Party-goers in Merseyside urged to Walk Away from violence as festive celebrations well underway13.12.23 - Merseyside
Help your mates to walk away. That’s the message of a new national campaign being launched to prevent deaths and serious injuries caused by a person being assaulted on a night out.
A single punch can result in death or serious injury.
The new campaign encourages self-control, support from friends and for men to walk away from heated situations before other people become violent. It also calls on friends and bystanders of potential offenders, as well as members of the public, to de-escalate situations when it’s safe to.
The campaign offers tips to prevent violence on a night out.
- Keep an eye out for your mates. You know them best, but if they're staring, shouting or squaring up, it's a definite sign to get them to walk away.
- A quick apology. We're often not our best selves when we're drunk. A quick apology on behalf of a friend can help clear up a misunderstanding before things can kick off.
- Step in. If you feel safe, you can step in and make eye contact with your mate. It can make it easier to talk them down.
- Ask for help. If there are other mates out with you, get them to give you a hand. The more people that stand up and step in, the more likely things will calm down. If things are getting out of hand, call 999. In a non-emergency you can call 101.
Research shows that most incidents are caused by small triggers, something as basic as an error in judgement, a spilled drink, or a rude comment.
Offenders and victims are often men aged between 18 and 30 who did not know each other before the interaction. In most cases, the offender has no criminal background. They tend to happen in busy areas between 11pm and 4am.
The campaign has been funded by the Home Office and is being coordinated through the National Police Chiefs Council.
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell said: “We want everyone to enjoy their nights out and remember them for the right reasons. A single punch can ruin lives and I welcome this campaign in the efforts to making nights out safer for everyone, particularly over the busy festive period where we know the nighttime economy is busier than usual.
“The Walk Away campaign is here to support positive behavioural change and I encourage everyone to look out for these behaviours in themselves and their friends and make sure that it doesn’t lead to violence.
“Too many lives are ruined, and even lost, to drunken behaviour on nights out. Our message is simple – if it’s you in a heated situation or a friend, think, de-escalate, and walk away.”
Temporary Director of the MVRP, Supt Georgie Garvey added: “The consequences of a drunken fight on a night out can be fatal and inflict life-long consequences for everyone involved. In Merseyside we’ve seen this tragedy unfold and it only takes one punch to destroy lives and rip families apart forever.”
“If you find yourself on a night out and in a heated situation, remember the consequences of violence and remind yourself that no disagreement is worth potentially taking someone’s loved one away from them or serving a prison sentence. Make the right choice. Walk away.”
Venues, takeaways and other local businesses in the nighttime economy are being encouraged to get involved and support the campaign. If you’re a local business and want to get involved, visit the campaign toolkit.