Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Arrests of festive drivers fall

FEWER arrests were made in the South Oxfordshire and the Vale area during the pre-Christmas campaign by police to tackle drink- and drug-driving.

Only 12 drivers were arrested compared with 21 in 2017 and 17 in 2016.

Of these, nine were arrested for drink-driving and three for having drugs in their system.

The total of arrests for the Thames Valley Police area was 391, compared with 387 the previous year, a rise of one per cent.

Of these, 255 arrests were for drink-driving, down from 292 the previous year, or 15 per cent. The number of drug-driving arrests rose by more than 30 per cent from 95 in 2017 to 136.

The campaign, which ran throughout December, was called Operation Holly and was carried out in partnership with Hampshire police.

The majority of drink-drive offenders were aged between 35 and 49 years and the highest number of drug-drivers were aged between 17 and 24.

Sgt Rob Heard, of the roads policing unit, said: “We’ve seen a small drop in the number arrested for drink-driving, which is good.

“However there continues to be a steady rise in the number caught for drug-driving over the last few years.

“The increase is not necessarily because we have more drug-drivers on the road but that officers can conduct roadside drug testing using drug analysers which weren’t available pre-2015.”

• The portion of council tax charged by Thames Valley Police is set to rise from April 1. The average Band D household will pay £206.28, an increase of £24. Police and crime commissioner Anthony Stansfeld says this will allow £8.5million to be spent on more officers and technology and improving the force’s service to the public. The rise is due to be ratified next Friday.

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