Chesterfield police step up efforts to cut violence after killing of Chris Henchliffe

The late Chris Henchliffe.
The late Chris Henchliffe.

Police have stepped up efforts to cut alcohol-fuelled violence in Chesterfield as part of a campaign.

Officers are running a crusade highlighting the fact that one punch can kill.

The drive is supported by Yvonne Henchliffe, whose son Chris was killed after he was attacked outside the Pomegranate Theatre in Corporation Street following an argument over a spilt drink in July last year.

Former soldier and father Mr Henchliffe, of Maynard Road, Chesterfield, fell heavily to the floor and suffered a catastrophic head injury.

He was sedated in hospital for nine days before he passed away aged 26.

As part of the campaign, dedicated police patrols are taking place on Friday and Saturday nights in the town centre.

In addition, the mobile police station is being based on Corporation Street during the busiest evenings - the first and last Saturday of the month, with extra nights during the Christmas and New Year period.

It allows officers to be able to respond to any incidents or reports more quickly and also speak to revellers about the campaign and make sure they are having a safe night out.

A number of posters and leaflets have been designed, which include a photo of Mr Henchliffe, and are being handed out by officers

Town venues, along with a number of taxi companies, are also supporting the campaign by using the posters and leaflets.

Inspector Dave Nicholls, who leads policing in the town, said: "Chris's death devastated his family and friends and one of the most difficult elements of it is that it was completely avoidable.

"Chris was struck during an argument about a spilt drink - but that innocuous argument turned deadly because it was fuelled by alcohol.

"That split second led to one man dying and another being jailed and this campaign is all about reminding people of those dangers and that one punch can kill.

"We are committed to reducing alcohol-fuelled violence and our aim is to make sure that people who come to Chesterfield for a fun night out get to do just that - and get home safely."

A Derbyshire Constabulary spokesman added: "To help increase safety in the town, our officers have been supplied with Pub Watch radios to give us quicker direct contact with CCTV operators and numerous licenced venues in the town.

"Officers will also be taking action against people who are involved in alcohol-related violence or disorder, including seeking banning orders from licenced premises for up to two years."