Police plea for a safe Christmas

editorial image

AS pubs and clubs across the Dispatch district fill up with Christmas revellers, police are urging people to be nice rather than nasty!

The force has re-issued its ‘One Punch’ campaign in a bid to remind people of the potentially deadly consequences of a single blow.

The message already seems to have been heard loud and clear with no confirmed deaths recorded as the reult of a punch in Nottinghamshire since the launch of the campaign a year ago.

Hucknall police chief Insp Nick Butler said: “The town centre is a great place for an enjoyable night out and we want people to enjoy themselves as part of their Christmas and New Year celebrations.

“But we will have a strong presence of officers over the festive period in the event of anyone indulging in drink-related violence. All we are asking is that people behave responsibly.”

The image of the town centre has greatly improved since a similar appeal came from Hucknall’s former police commander, Insp Simon Nickless, several years ago.

He said: “There is a minority who believe they can come to the town and commit violent offences. These people will spend Christmas in the cells.

“Yobs who come into the town centre to cause trouble will not be tolerated and will be dealt with robustly.”

Violence in the town centre on Friday and Saturday nights led to police spot checks for weapons, involving the use of metal detectors, with pubs given radios to communicate with police CCTV operators.

‘One Punch’ has even caught the attention of people on the other side of the world, with South Australia Police asking permission to use campaign artwork for their own warnings.

Since 2000 there have been seven confirmed deaths from single punches in Nottinghamshire. In 2011 alone, three young men died from head injuries after one punch.

All of the victims were young men with an average age of 25, while the average age of the attackers was just 21.

Force spokesman Supt Jack Hudson said: “Innocuous disagreements can escalate out of all proportion and the effects of alcohol — or simply peer pressure — on young men can be aggravated by a heightened sense of bravado. Attacks are often quite random and victims may just be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”