Road safety remains key concern for PCC
Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie has reinforced his commitment to road safety in the county, as Norfolk Police reveal more than 160 arrests were made during the Christmas campaign against drink and drug driving.
Police in Norfolk made 161 arrests during the annual clampdown aimed at highlighting the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.
The month-long initiative ran between Wednesday 1 December until Saturday 1 January, in conjunction with a UK-wide operation organised by the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
The message of the campaign was ‘No Excuse’ and involved officers carrying-out roadside checks throughout the day and night, as well as intelligence-led enforcement activity.
Giles Orpen-Smellie, Police & Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, said: "It is disappointing that so many people choose to ignore the warnings issued by my policing colleagues and get behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs.
"While officers will continue to clampdown on those intent on breaking the law, it is also about taking personal responsibility, and I would urge drivers to think twice before risking the lives of not only themselves but other road users.
"It is clear from my in-box and public meetings that road safety is a key concern for people across Norfolk.
"This is why road safety will be a key objective in my Police, Crime and Community Safety Plan, which I will be launching in the spring."
Chief Inspector Jon Chapman, of the Joint Roads & Armed Policing Team, said: “It is incredibly disappointing that so many people are still prepared to take such unnecessary risks with their lives and the lives of others, when everyone is fully aware of the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.
“Our message for the campaign was ‘No Excuse’ and it is that simple: there is no excuse for risking lives or injuring others; no excuse for causing damage to other vehicles or property; no excuse for putting your livelihood at risk – if losing your licence would mean losing your job, the consequences of that would likely have an impact beyond yourself, especially if you have a family.
“Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is one of the ‘Fatal Four’ offences, which makes you more likely to be involved in either a serious or fatal collision – alongside speeding, driving whilst using a mobile phone and driving without wearing a seatbelt.
“We raise awareness and carry-out enforcement activity in respect of these offences all year round and our officers are passionate about making the county’s roads safer for everybody – a fact which I believe is demonstrated by the 868 motorists they interacted with during the month-long campaign."
A total of 868 motorists were stopped or dealt with by officers in Norfolk, 19% of whom were arrested as follows:
- 85 on suspicion of drink-driving (768 people breathalysed in total, with 683 providing negative tests)
- 51 on suspicion of drug-driving (75 people tested in total, with 24 providing negative tests)
- In addition, nine people were arrested for failing to provide a specimen; and 16 people were arrested for being unfit through drink or drugs
Of all the people who failed a test, 79% were male and 19% were under the age of 25-years-old.
Anyone with information about suspected drink or drug driving should contact Norfolk Police, by either emailing their local Safer Neighbourhood Team - the details of which can be found here: www.norfolk.police.uk/your-area - or by calling 101.
In case of an emergency, or if you believe a crime is in progress, always dial 999
Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org