Family's pride after drink drive campaign success

By a County Press reporter

Thursday, January 16, 2014

 

Family's pride after drink drive campaign success

A Southern Vectis bus, which was used as part of this year's Hampshire and Isle of Wight police drink driving campaign. Picture by Robin Crossley.

A MASSIVE drop in the number of drink drive arrests has been seen on the Isle of Wight following a hard-hitting campaign over the festive period.

Arrests on the Isle of Wight fell by 33 per cent compared to the same period last year according to a Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police campaign — despite a small rise in other parts of the region.

The campaign centred on the tragic impact of drink and drug impaired driving on the Isle of Wight family of Evey Staley, who was killed by a driver who was two and a half times over the limit and had been smoking cannabis.

Evey’s father Neal said: "We're extremely proud to have been involved in such a fantastically run, hard hitting campaign and know that Evey’s legacy will continue to help other people even though they won’t know it.

"All we ask is for everyone to spread this message as far as they can. The more that are aware of the possible consequences, the safer it will be for us all."

He added: "Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have suffered at the hands of drink drivers and we wish you the strength to get through. Finally, thank you to our precious Evey Rose who we know has given us the strength to do this. We miss you and love you."

Head of roads policing for Hampshire and the Thames Valley superintendent Chris Brown said: "The story of Evey Staley and her family had a demonstrable effect on everyone it reached and we firmly believe that everyone knows the message not to drink and drive, so it is time that we started tackling the whole impaired driving issue in a different way through intelligence-led targeted policing as we do other types of persistent criminality."

He added: "We use the legislation and power that we have as widely and effectively as possible and we will continue to do that year round, but it is time to start thinking more broadly to target offenders, further reduce road casualties and make a positive impact on reducing drink and drug drive offences."

Just 12 people were arrested on the Island during the campaign 'Is It Worth The Risk?' — run in conjunction with Thames Valley Police — which ran from December 1, 2013 to January 1, 2014, down from 18 last year.

Across the whole of Hampshire and the Island a total of 213 drivers were arrested, three more than the previous year.

Of those, 137 were charged, 53 were bailed pending further inquiries and 23 were released with no further action. The oldest driver arrested was 82 and the youngest was 17.

Police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes said: "I would like to see these figures fall still further. Everyone has a part to play in this by reporting anyone who chooses to ignore the law by drinking or taking mind altering substances before they get behind the wheel.

"By eliminating the risks, we have a greater chance of preventing a fatality like the one that tragically took Evey Staley’s life so prematurely.

"After all, one drink driver is one too many, and it’s not just during the festive season, this should apply all year round."

Purple ribbons to remember victims of drink drivers, including Evey, were sold raising £1,200 for the campaign.

See the Hampshire and Isle of Wight police statistics below:

Persons arrested for the offence of Drink/Drug Driving
1 Dec 2013 - 1 Jan 2014* 2013 2012 Difference
Total Arrests 213 210 3
District
Andover 15 10 5
Basingstoke & Deane 15 21 -6
East Hants & Winchester 26 19 7
Eastleigh & Romsey 14 17 -3
Fareham & Gosport 20 20 0
Hart & Rushmoor 19 23 -4
Havant 15 7 8
Isle of Wight 12 18 -6
New Forest 10 12 -2
Portsmouth 29 27 2
Southampton 37 36 1
Other 1 0 1
Disposals
Charged 137 145 -8
Bailed 53 51 2
NFA 23 14 9
Gender
Female 33 48 -15
Male 180 162 18
Average age of person arrested 37 36
Oldest person arrested 82 81
Youngest person arrested 17 17

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