The message of our new campaign aimed at helping to prevent further deaths and serious injuries caused by a person being assaulted on a night out.
Research shows that most incidents where someone has lost their life or been left with life-changing injuries by being assaulted while on a night out are merely caused by an error in judgement, a spilled drink, or a rude comment.
Data analysed shows offenders and victims are often men aged between 18 and 30 who do not know each other before the initial interaction. In most cases, the offender has no criminal background.
Our new campaign, which is a 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.
The campaign’s message 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.
The campaign has been funded by the Home Office following a request made by the force. Officers from the force’s Violence and Complex Crime Unit and the Corporate Communications departments have worked with an external agency Magpie Creative Communications to develop and produce the campaign.
The campaign’s message is already visible in and around Leicester city centre including at and near pubs, clubs and fast-food restaurants. This includes digital screens and printed posters in venues as well as streetside digital screens. 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.
Detective Inspector Mark Brennan of VCCU Partnerships said: “Assaults which happen during a night out can have serious consequences. For example, between October 2022 and September 2023 alone, we have identified at least 18 assaults during the night-time economy in Leicestershire where the victim suffered a serious injury as a result of being punched. Thankfully – and luckily – due to prompt medical intervention, none of these assaults were fatal.
“However, just this month, we saw a man jailed for the manslaughter of another man following an incident in August 2022 where an assault on a night out, which led to punching, kicking and pulling the victim to the ground, was fatal and the life of a husband and father-of-two was taken.
“Our message here is that when you get involved in a fight of this nature – 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.