"STOP, think and walk away."

That was the message to festive revellers from the launch of One Punch UK's 2019 Punched Out Cold campaign.

Now in its sixth 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.

Campaigner and founder of One Punch, Maxine Thompson-Curl, whose son Kristian was tragically killed by a single blow, 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.”

Kristian Thompson of Burnopfield, County Durham, was just 18 when he was punched at a nightclub, in Consett, on September 4, 2010 and sustained a catastrophic brain injury. He never fully recovered and died in July 2011.

Mrs Thompson-Curl, of Whitburn, said: "The Christmas period is the busiest time of the year for A&Es, hospitals and the emergency services.

"On Festive Friday in particular people will go out and we want that, we know people have worked hard all year and want to celebrate. But some might drink too much and maybe get involved in drugs, making themselves and people around them vulnerable. If something happens, if you feel angry or upset, just walk away.

"When I find it difficult I think about Kristian and what he would want me to say and I keep going to hopefully make people think. Let's work together and look after each other and stop mothers and families going through this."

The Punched Out Cold campaign is supported by Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland Police and their PCCs, its hard-hitting posters are starting to be used in North Yorkshire and Wales and One Punch UK hopes to get every force in the UK on board to reach 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, 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.”