Leicestershire Police’s ‘Walk Away’ campaign has gone national.
In October, the force launched the campaign which is aimed at helping to prevent further deaths and serious injuries caused by a person being assaulted on a night out.
The behaviour change campaign aims to influence potential offenders by encouraging them to exercise self-control and to walk away from heated situations before violence can break out. It also calls on friends and bystanders of potential offenders, as well as members of the public, to de-escalate a situation if safe to do so.
And now, the campaign is being adopted by forces across the UK to share the campaign’s message nationally.
Digital screens and printed posters showing the bright campaign artwork is already visible in and around Leicester city centre including at and near pubs, clubs and fast-food restaurants. Handstamps will also be provided with the ‘Walk Away’ message.
A website has also been launched and social media messages are being shared across Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.
Following the national launch, toolkits are being provided to forces to help in sharing the message.
The Leicestershire campaign has been funded by the Home Office following a request made by Leicestershire Police. Officers from the force’s Violence and Complex Crime Unit (VCCU) and the Corporate Communications departments have worked with an external agency Magpie Creative Communications to develop and produce the campaign.
The national campaign has been funded by the Home Office and is being co-ordinated through the National Police Chief’s Council.
Detective Inspector Mark Brennan of VCCU Partnerships said: “Assaults which happen during a night out can have serious consequences. The message of the campaign is so important and it is excellent to see that it is therefore now being shared nationally.
“Our message is that when you get involved in a fight on a night out – usually over a minor thing – you do not have control. Instead you have the potential to ruin a number of lives forever, including your own. All this could be prevented by being the one to take control and to Walk Away.
“We are continuing to work with partners, including businesses in the night-time economy, to share this message. Please work with us as part of this and continue to share this message where you can so that together we can help to stop these incidents and to potentially save lives.”
Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Kate Meynell, who is the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Homicide, said:
“The consequences of a drunken fight on a night out can be fatal and inflict life-long consequences for everyone involved. Research shows that these assaults tend to happen for trivial reasons, maybe a rude comment, or even just a spilled drink.
“If you find yourself on a night out and in a heated situation, remember the consequences of violence, and ask yourself is it worth it? Is this worth potentially taking someone’s loved one away from them, and taking yourself away from your own family to serve a prison sentence? Is it worth having a criminal record? It never is.
“Too many lives are ruined, and even lost, to drunken behaviour on nights out across the UK. Our message is simple – if it’s you in the heated situation or a friend, think, de-escalate, and walk away.”