Dangers of 'One Punch' attacks highlighted in campaign

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Above: Constable Paul Larkin, Hugh Hegarty (Chairperson City Centre Initiative) Stephen Doherty (Granny Annie's), Chief Inspector Paul McCracken (Chief /Inspector Strand Road), Dermot Harrigan (PCSP), Andy O'Doherty (Granny Annie's) and holding the poster, Chris McKnight (Estate Security Services).

Derry City & Strabane PSNI is highlighting the dangers of ‘One Punch’ attacks in a campaign that will run during the month of December in conjunction with the Policing and Community Safety Partnership and local licensed premises.

It will see beer mats, which carry the message ‘One Punch Can Kill’, put on tables on pubs throughout the city and Strabane. The mats have been funded by Derry City & Strabane PCSP and the launch took place in Grannie Annie’s in the city last Thursday.

Chief Inspector Paul McCracken said: “In recent weeks our city centre bars have been playing the One Punch DVD every night. Our message is that Derry city centre is a safe place to socialise and a reminder to patrons that just one punch ruins many lives. We aren’t out to spoil anyone’s fun, but we want to get the message out there that '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. Raising awareness of the dangers of One Punch incidents is important and that is why we pleased to be working with the PCSP in this way.”

Alderman Drew Thompson, Chairperson of the Derry and Strabane PCSP said: “We are delighted to support this re-launch of the ‘One Punch’ campaign. As more people will be availing of our night-time economy offering over the festive season it is important that they do this in a sensible and secure manner.

“I would commend our local bar owners on the responsible approach they have taken and would advise people to heed the practical advice on the beermats when out socialising.”