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As the Christmas party season approaches, One Punch UK launches its 2019 Punched Out Cold campaign – now in its 6th Year.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the devastation one punch can cause, and urges people to think about the long-term consequences of their actions.

One Punch UK hopes to get every police force in the UK supporting the campaign so the hard-hitting poster and important message reaches as many people as possible. In 2018, the poster was viewed more than 1.6 million times on social media, something the campaign hopes to double this year.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, who is supporting the campaign, along with all three regional police forces and their PCCs, firmly believes that education is key.

She said: “Every act of violence is one too many.  My vision is to prevent crime and tragedy before they happen. This campaign is about making safe choices, recognizing the warning signs and teaching people to think again when they face potentially violent situations. An impulsive action, with clouded judgment, on a festive night out can result in a lifetime of regret.

“By starting early and educating young people, we can make a difference. Identifying and tackling the root causes of crime and harm in our communities is a top priority for me and I will be working closely with One Punch UK as part of the prevention work that’s at the heart of my Violence Reduction Unit. Violence is not inevitable, it is in large parts predictable and through campaigns like this we can help prevent it.”

Committed campaigner and founder of One Punch, Maxine Thompson-Curl, whose son was tragically killed by one-punch on his 19th birthday, said: “This campaign is so important to educate people what a single punch can do and the devastation it can cause. The message is to stop, think and walk away. Don’t put anyone through what I’ve gone through for the past eight years – I lost my son to a one punch assault and I work alongside people who have lost loved ones because of violent attacks. Let’s stop this – there doesn’t need to be violent attacks.”

 

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NEWCASTLE CHARITY TAKES A STAND AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE WITH LAUNCH OF #ITSNOTOKAY MOVEMENT

YOUNG people’s charity Streetwise is encouraging the region to take a stand and stop gender-based violence through its campaign #itsnotokay, launching in line with International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Monday 25 November 2019.

The 16 days of activism will run from Monday 25 November to Tuesday 10 December 2019 with the charity taking to the streets of Newcastle city centre on launch day asking the public to pledge their support to the campaign. Starting with ‘#itsnotokay’, the public will be invited to share the things they feel should not be happening in our city, for example #itsnotokay to grope me, harass me, send me indecent images, with the aim to raise awareness of the ongoing issue. People are also encouraged to share their thoughts on social media to get people talking about a traditionally taboo subject.

#itsnotokay aims to promote the message that violence against women and girls is not okay. In 2018, Streetwise carried out a Sexual Violence Survey* with 174 female respondents. The survey revealed that 57 percent of young women said they had been groped or grabbed in a sexual manner, and 40 percent said they had felt forced or pressured to do something sexually that they did not want to do.

In March 2017 the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimated that 20 percent of women have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16, and around 5 in 6 victims (83 percent) did not report their experience to the police.

Local police recorded crime data has also revealed that there were 1,209 recorded sexual offences in Newcastle in 2016/17, this is a rate of 4.1 per 1,000, a significant increase since 2014/15.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, fully supports the #itsnotokay campaign and said: “This movement is about empowering young women and girls and giving them the confidence to challenge and speak out. Whether it’s disrespectful, intrusive or abusive behaviour – it’s all wrong.

“It’s so important to me that young girls feel equal, in control and above all, safe. I want victims to be aware of the help and support available to them through fantastic organisations like Streetwise who I will be working very closely with in the coming months.”

Mandy Coppin, CEO at Streetwise Young People’s Project, said: “Our #itsnotokay campaign is about raising awareness to help stop our girls and young women from being sexually assaulted. It is critical that we do everything we can to continue providing essential support services for those young people who need help following a sexual assault.

“Our message to those on the receiving end of sexual harassment or witnesses of assaults, who are sometimes as young as 12 years old, is to ‘see it, report it, and stop it’. If you see someone or are a victim of sexual assault, it’s important to report it to someone who can help. This may be a teacher, a parent, a sibling, the police, or anyone who you feel safe speaking to. The more reports that are made we believe will help to bring an end to unwanted sexual attention and sexual assault.”

Streetwise will be carrying out a range of activities throughout the 16-day period. All staff will be wearing #itsnotokay T-shirts everyday, which are also be available to purchase, and there will be drop-in sessions for young people to learn more about healthy/unhealthy relationships and pledge their support. The building will be decked in Orange to mark the start of 16 days of activism.

If a young person has experienced domestic or sexual violence, contact Streetwise on 0191 230 5400 or drop in to speak to a specialist for support.

 

ENDS

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A fresh-faced group of volunteers will be sworn in this week in a bid to crackdown on rural crime across Northumberland.

A total of 20 Rural Crime Volunteers officially joined Northumbria Police on Wednesday (November 20) and will work closely with our officers and other partner agencies to help prevent and disrupt local and cross-border criminal activity.

Each volunteer will support officers with local and national police operations including Operation Checkpoint.

Superintendent Helen Anderson, from Northumbria Police, said: “We’re delighted to welcome these volunteers into our policing family.

“Each volunteer already has contacts within their own rural communities which will help with getting messages out and intelligence in.  They will also help us to promote rural crime prevention messages for hard to reach audiences.

Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness said: “It’s amazing to see so much dedication from these volunteers. They continue to support officers and staff in their work to tackle rural crime and they do it all on their own time and on occasion risking their own personal safety.

“It’s an honour to be able to present them with their badges and welcome them to Northumbria Police as official Rural Crime Volunteers. I wish them all the luck for their future operations and have no doubt they will continue to be an essential asset to the Force.”

The volunteers come from a variety of different backgrounds including gamekeepers, estate managers and farmers and are coming far and wide from the border with Cumbria down to the Durham.

Volunteers already have a good understanding of local crime and wildlife concerns in their areas which can be passed to the right agency for the best response.

One of the volunteers sworn in said: “It’s about doing my part for the community. We can be the eyes and the ears out in the public to help officers and do our bit. Whether it is looking out for suspicious activity and vehicles or sharing intelligence quickly amongst officers and other volunteers – it can all pay off.”

While a Rural Crime Volunteer does not have powers to arrest they will have access to police equipment and information, for example having access to radio channels to share intelligence during operations.

Superintendent Anderson added: “By swearing them in, we can strengthen our working relationships and recognise their contribution as official police volunteers. I want to wish them luck and once again offer my gratitude for all they do.”

 

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