Herts police ask people to walk away from violence on a night out
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Help your mates to walk away. That’s the message of a new national campaign being backed by Hertfordshire Constabulary 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.
#WeWalkAway encourages self-control, support from friends and for people 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.
It 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.
Superintendent Nick Lillitou, of Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Prevention First team, said: “We want people to enjoy nights out that they remember for all the right reasons. A single punch can ruin lives and this campaign is part of a range of efforts that we’re making to make nights out safe for everyone. We encourage venues, takeaways and other businesses in the nighttime economy to get involved and support the campaign.”