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 Know your limits and consider how you will get home safely this weekend


The mother of a young man who was killed during a night out is teaming up with Durham Constabulary to encourage revellers to drink responsibly this weekend.

Kristian Thompson died after being punched in the head during a night out on his 19th birthday in 2011.

Since then, Kristian’s mum, Maxine Thompson-Curl, has led a campaign to raise awareness about the devastating impact drunken-fuelled violence can have, while supporting other families in similar situations.

She set up One Punch North East as a campaigning group in 2014, now a registered charity, and has spoken to thousands of schoolchildren across the region about what happened to Kristian.

Joining Durham Constabulary at Headquarters today (Wednesday, July 1), Mrs Thompson-Curl urged everyone thinking about going back to the pub to think twice about their actions and consider their limits.

The 54-year-old said: “What scares me is that people are going to get drunk and lose control after three months of lockdown – inevitably some people are going to get hurt.

“Of course people want to have fun but I just want them to be sensible and think about what it would mean if they were in my situation.

“Everyone will be going out to enjoy themselves and no one knowingly goes on a night out to kill someone, but it happens, and I just want people to be aware of their actions.”

Mrs Thompson-Curl, of South Shields, added: “I would urge you all to look out for each other and stay safe – we are proof of how much trauma that one punch can do to everyone involved.

“We’d urge people to be sensible, think smart and keep safe.”

Officers will be out in force this weekend across County Durham and Darlington to help keep people safe if they do decide to return to the pub.

The force has also been working closely with its partners to ensure licensees are aware of their responsibilities and promote responsible drinking.

Chief Inspector Neal Bickford said: “We are really pleased to see the pubs and bars reopening but we would urge people to act responsibly when the restrictions are lifted.

“Coronavirus remains a real risk to public health and we have seen some very irresponsible behaviour nationally in terms of mass gatherings and antisocial behaviour.

“The vast majority of drinkers are responsible but we know some people will drink to excess or cause harm to others so we would encourage everyone in County Durham and Darlington to think twice about their actions and enjoy their night safely.

“The key advice is to know your limits and consider how you will get home safely.”