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Northamptonshire: Operation Challenge – Winning pupils join forces with police at university Freshers’ Week

September 26, 2012, 9:40 am

Winning pupils from Weavers School in Wellingborough went to Freshers’ Week with officers from Operation Challenge last week to talk about the consequences of violence with new students at Northampton University.

Weavers School won the ‘Dragon’s Den’ style School’s County Challenge earlier in the year with their T-shirt design ‘One Punch Can Take A Life’ and they were giving the T-shirts out to students after explaining the meaning behind them. The competition featured the film ‘One Punch Can Kill based on the consequences if a single violent act – when Stuart Martin was tragically killed by one punch whilst on a night out in Northamptonshire in 2010.

Inspector Kevin Byrne said: “Northampton University kindly let us have a stand at Freshers’ Week and we had a fantastic response – we spoke to around 1,500 students throughout the day. The students listened to the ‘One Punch Can Kill and Operation Challenge messages and engaged with our officers and Weavers School pupils before being given a T-shirt and leaflets.”

“This is the first time away from home for many of the students and going out and having a few drinks can be part of student life. We spoke with them about how to keep themselves, and their friends, safe whilst also explaining the potentially life-changing implications of being involved in violence.”

Inspector Byrne added: “I believe that this, along with our successful high-impact initiative in Northampton town centre that we have been running throughout September, has already paid dividends. We have historically seen an increase in violent crime during this period and yet our latest figures show a considerable decrease. There were just seven offences of violence in the Northampton Central sector between 17 and 23 September this year compared to 20 offences in the same week last year.”

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