A night out relaxing with friends or partying this Christmas can be the perfect way to unwind. Unfortunately, alcohol affects people in many different ways in terms of their capacity and reaction to various beverages.
The fact is, alcohol is a key element in a large percentage of violent crime and anti-social behaviour incidents in Scotland. The available statistics indicate that over half of 'one punch' crimes are committed under the influence of drink.
Alcohol related crimes range from relatively low level offences such as drunkenness, disorder and assault to serious crimes like domestic abuse, sexual offences and other violent crimes including serious assault, attempted murder, murder and robbery. Sadly, even a minor drunken scuffle can result in tragedy.
During recent public surveys, violent crime was ranked as a key concern, placing it as one of Police Scotland's top priorities. As such, the One Punch Can Ruin Two Lives campaign has been introduced to raise awareness of the consequences that one punch can have on two people’s lives.
Launching the campaign at The Garage in Glasgow, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams said, "Drinking too much can make you vulnerable and it increases your risk of becoming a victim of crime or getting into trouble.
“One punch can kill and could result in you facing a jail sentence. I want people to enjoy their nights out but at the same time to drink responsibly and consider how much alcohol they are consuming and the effect it has on their decision making and judgement.”
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson said: “Identifying and tackling the root causes of crime and the issues that cause harm in our communities is a responsibility for the police, our partners and communities."
We want you to have a good time, but remember...
- Getting into an altercation can ruin two lives. It increases the risk of becoming a victim of crime and also the risk of getting into trouble if a situation quickly escalates into violence and disorder.
- Think about how much alcohol you are consuming, and consider the effects alcohol has on the mind and body.
- Remind yourself what these effects are. Alcohol is a proven precursor to antisocial behaviour, which all too often leads to more serious criminal acts.
- Too much drink affects your judgement, leading to bad decisions which may well end with your arrest.
- Alcohol reduces self-control, and can give the drinker a false sense of bravery or heightened uncharacteristic aggression.
- Understand the consequences of drinking too much; overindulgence increases the risk of becoming vulnerable or overstepping the mark.
- As well as risking becoming a victim of crime, you could risk getting into trouble by a situation quickly escalating into violence or disorder.
The campaign is supported by the charity ‘Every Action Has Consequences’ which was launched by the family of Adam Rogers, who was killed as a result of one punch in 2009. Having lost Adam his family and friends through the charity urge people to think about the consequences of their actions.
Pat Rogers, Mother of Adam and co-founder of the charity ‘Every Action Has Consequences’ said, “Dave, Tim and I are really pleased to see the 'One Punch Can Ruin Two Lives' Campaign being launched in Glasgow this week. We are so glad that Adam's Story is being used and we hope it continues to have a powerful impact on those who see it. Many people don't realise that fists can be as dangerous as a knife or a gun. One punch killed our lovely son when he was trying to act as a peacemaker. We fully support this campaign it is so important to get the message across loud and clear - one punch is too many.”
The videos below illustrate the scenario which was brought about by over indulgence, and which resulted in needless tragedy and the ruination of not one, but two lives.