POLICE and health chiefs are today launching a major campaign to try to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence across Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot.
With tens of thousands of revellers hitting the bars and clubs of South West Wales every week, the initiative is calling on people to stop and think about the consequences of drunken violence with a simple message — one punch ruins lives.
The statistics make for sober reading — almost half of all assaults across Swansea and Neath Port Talbot are alcohol-related, with almost 60 per cent of attacks happening on a Saturday night.
South Wales Police chief superintendent Julian Williams said violence would not be tolerated — and that those who failed to heed the message would he dealt with harshly.
He said: "One stupid, drunken punch is all it takes for someone to ruin their victim's life and their own life.
"Violence is totally unacceptable in any situation and excessive alcohol is no excuse.
"I strongly urge people who want to enjoy a night out in our vibrant city centre and towns to take responsibility for their own actions, be brave and walk away from aggression and violence.
"Violence will not be tolerated in Swansea, Neath or Port Talbot's night-time economies.
"Those who ignore our warning and refuse to change their behaviour will face arrest, being banned from pubs and clubs and a criminal record which could seriously damage a person's plans for the future."
The campaign was being launched today in the Bambu Bar in Swansea's Wind Street.
Alongside the chief inspector, senior medics and nurses, bar and club owners and politicians were all expected to attend.
The target age range for the campaign is 18 to 25-year-olds — statistics show that 40 per cent of those who commit assaults are in that age group, while more than 60 per cent of victims are of a similar age.
As part of the initiative there will be a series of high-profile adverts, posters and live events — the first one in Swansea's Wind Street on Easter Sunday — as well as use of social media including Twitter and Facebook.
The campaign is being backed by the Ospreys rugby team.
Chief operations officer Andrew Hore said: "Ospreys Rugby are really pleased to be part of the One Punch Ruins Lives initiative with the Safer Swansea and Safer Neath Port Talbot Partnerships.
"If we can utilise our rugby role models to assist in discouraging alcohol-related violence we are extremely pleased to do so.
"Our community, and working with local organisations within it, to make Ospreylia a better place is an important part of being an Osprey."