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Hotline calls to report drink drivers soar in Cambridgeshire

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Love thy neighbour has become ‘dob in thy neighbour’ in Cambridgeshire where calls to a hotline to report drink drivers have nearly tripled.

Cambridgeshire Police revealed today that the number of people calling the confidential hotline to report drink drivers rose to 13 in December alone.

That was nearly three times the number that had called in November and brought the number calling the hotline in 2022 to 119.

The hotline: 0800 032 0845 is available 24/7.

“If someone is in immediate danger, always call 999,” said PC Nick Southern, Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s casualty reduction officer.

“It is great to see calls to our confidential hotline increased in December, compared to 2021, and we would like to thank people for helping us make the roads of Cambridgeshire safer for everyone. Remember, one call really could save a life.

“But our hotline is for life, not just for Christmas.

“Calls can be made throughout the year and at any time of day or night, so we would encourage others to help us spread the word – whether that’s saving the number in your own phone or sharing it with others.”

More than 80 suspected drink and drug drivers were arrested last month as part of a force crackdown.

In December the force supported a new national campaign by Sussex Police and Surrey Police calling on the public and friends of drink drivers to prevent, persuade and – as a last resort – report them to police over the festive period.

A total of 83 drink and drug driving related arrests were made across the county last month, compared to 69 in December 2021 – a 20 per cent increase.

At least 50 of these were charged and the majority have already been sentenced.

More than 20 motorists lost their licences after being caught drink driving or failing to provide a breath test in December.

They appeared in court and were disqualified from driving for periods ranging from one year and three months to two years.

Throughout 2022 there were 812 drink and drug driving related arrests, compared to 771 arrests in 2021 – a five per cent increase.

PC Southern said: “I hope our work has made drivers think twice about getting behind the wheel while under the influence, and we also aimed to highlight how long alcohol can remain in your system.

“Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving ability. If you’re drinking, even if you have just one, arrange another way of getting home.

“Our officers can’t be everywhere, but they could be anywhere, so please don’t gamble with your life or your future by drink driving. It’s really not worth the risk.”

Officers cracked down on drivers while out on patrol and carried out roadside checks across the county, stopping more than 100 motorists.

In addition, a dedicated road policing operation took place on 23 December across the county led by officers from the Beds, Cambs and Herts (BCH) Road Policing Unit alongside local officers.

A day of action to target drink drivers the morning after was held on Saturday 17 December, funded by the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner through the Vision Zero Partnership.

The Surrey and Sussex Police campaign asked friends to plan ahead for their night out over the festive period, urging them to consider their designated driver, pre-booking a taxi or walking to the venue.

There was also a role for persuasion – asking people to step in to help someone who’s about to drink drive get home safely.

Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston said: “I have seen first-hand the devastation caused by people who choose to drink and drive – they not only put their own lives at risk but also the lives of others.

“My message will always be clear: don’t drink and drive.”







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