Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Police and partners support grieving parents’ campaign to tackle mindless violence

Police and partner agencies in South Cumbria have pledged their support for a campaign to raise awareness of the consequences of mindless violence.

The South Lakeland and Barrow Community Safety Partnerships Alcohol Strategy Group, which comprise of representatives from Police, Health, Probation, District Councils and the Drug and Alcohol Team (DAAT), have agreed to purchase educational packs from the ‘Every Action Has Consequences’ charity so that all schools and colleges across South Cumbria have the opportunity to raise awareness of the impact of violence and alcohol misuse among young people.

‘Every Action Has Consequences’ is a charity that has been set up by Pat and David Rogers, parents of 24 year old Adam Rogers who tragically died after suffering a single punch in Blackburn, in 2009. It is designed to challenge young peoples’ perceptions of violence, and make people think about the consequences of their actions.

24 year old Adam had lived in the Ulverston area and worked at the Whitewater Hotel, Backbarrow for a period before moving back to Blackburn at the time of his death. On 4 July 2009, he was on a night out with some friends in Blackburn when a group of youths approached him and his friends and ‘banter’ quickly escalated into confrontation. Acting as a peacemaker, Adam attempted to shepherd one 16 year old youth away, but was hit by an aggressive punch that knocked him unconscious before he hit the ground. His brain injuries were so severe that he never regained consciousness.

Since his death, Mr and Mrs Rogers have been telling Adam’s story in schools, colleges and prisons to highlight the heartbreaking consequences of mindless violence. They have now prepared an educational pack to capture the true impact of a single punch - not only on Adam, his family and friends; but also on the teenager who drunkenly hit out and subsequently threw away his future after he was convicted of manslaughter and sent to prison for four years.

The educational packs contain videos that tell the story of Adam’s life and capture CCTV of the night he died. They also include drama workshops and discussion points for participants to debate alternative outcomes of that fateful evening.

South Cumbria’s Alcohol Strategy group has pledged their support to the campaign and aim to spread Adam’s story across Cumbria. Superintendent Ali Dufty is the Chair of the group and met with Mr and Mrs Rogers to hear about their campaign.

She said “It is impossible to imagine what they have been going through, but Pat and David have worked tirelessly to do something positive after this awful tragedy. They are determined to make a difference and try to ensure that no-one else has to experience what they went through when they lost their son.

“Adam’s death carries a very important message. It could so easily have been avoided and yet, worryingly, could happen again tomorrow. Adam’s last night alive demonstrates just how a night out with friends can quickly escalate into a tragedy - all it took was one drunken punch. Sadly I look at violent crime reports every week that could have turned out the same way, and I desperately want to avoid this happening to another family.

“The Community Safety Partnerships in South Cumbria work together in a bid to tackle the issues that most affect our communities and one of our three key priorities is tackling alcohol related harm.

”We are committed to ridding our streets of violence. We will work alongside local schools, colleges and any other interested groups to raise awareness of Adam’s story, and try to prevent a similar tragedy happening in Cumbria.”

Pat Rogers, Adam’s mum and founder of ‘Every Action Has Consequences’ said "The completion of the Education Pack was a big milestone for us. Getting it out to as wide an audience as possible is our next task. We are absolutely delighted that the Community Safety Partnership Group is willing to fund the pack to go out to the young people of South Cumbria. We know from the work we have done so far that the message has a real impact – and we sincerely hope that Adam will continue to make the world a better place even after his death."

To support the campaign, Cumbria Constabulary will be posting a trailer video for the educational packs on its website and social networking sites.

For further information about Every Action Has Consequences, visit: www.eahconsequences.com

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