THE dangers of getting into fights have been laid bare in stark film from the PSNI entitled ‘One Punch Can Kill’.
Since 2004, there have been more than 20 people killed as the result of single punch attacks, including one tragic incident in Cookstown.
The film which was launched as part of the Foyle Film Festival on Saturday, is timed to coincide with the start of the Christmas party season.
Detective Chief Inspector Karen Baxter said: “The next few months are traditionally a busy time for local nightclubs and restaurants with revellers celebrating the festivities, however, One Punch attacks can and do happen.
“Our figures show that since 2004, 21 people have died as a result of One Punch attacks and many more have been seriously injured. With the launch of our new film today, we are encouraging young males to be mindful of their safety when they are out at night.
“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.”
The film will be used as part of an educational package that will be rolled out across all policing districts in Northern Ireland.
Paula Jack, Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Agency said: “This film reaches out to young people to highlight the unforeseen consequences of a violent act and the impact it can have.
“It will alert young people to the dangers of getting themselves into situations which could lead to serious injury or death. I am pleased that the Youth Justice Agency has contributed directly to the production of this DVD.”