Essex Police launch anti-drink and drug driving Christmas campaign with powerful adverts
PUBLISHED: 12:05 01 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:45 01 December 2016
A series of hard-hitting adverts highlighting the consequences of drink and drug driving have been launched as Essex Police starts its Christmas campaign today (December 1).
The anti-drink and drug driving campaign, which runs until January 1, 2017, aims to push home the message through the eyes of road policing officers who witness the effects of people driving under the influence first-hand.
This year’s drive, in partnership with SERP (Safer Essex Roads Partnership), targets perpetrators, and the family and friends who know about their offending, by focusing on ‘How it Feels’ to deal with the consequences of drink and drug driving.
Two long-serving road policing officers, with more than 30 years service between them, have voiced a radio advert which will be aired throughout the festive period as well as sharing their real-life experiences on social media posts.
Tracey Bishop and Al Cuthbertson, who are both Pcs, have witnessed the devastating consequences of drink and drug driving and are encouraging people with information about drivers under the influence to report it.
Pc Bishop, who is also a family liaison officer, said: “Having to tell someone their loved one has been killed because a driver made the selfish decision to get behind the wheel when under the influence is the worst part of my job.
“There are no words to describe the devastation caused by drink and drug driving.”
During the campaign road policing officers will be patrolling towns with busy night time economies as well as rural areas where some drivers believe they have less chance of getting caught.
As well as breath tests, officers will be using drug testing kits to detect drivers under the influence of illegal drugs, including cannabis and cocaine.
Between January and the end of October this year, a total of 1735 people were arrested on suspicion of drink and drug driving offences.
Following accidents attended and recorded by Essex Police during the same period, 7.6% of those breathalysed were over the legal drink drive limit.
Adam Pipe, casualty reduction manager at Essex Police, said: “Christmas should be a time for celebration and spending time with loved ones.
“Our officers are passionate about road policing and will be working throughout the festive period to give people the chance to do that in safety. “However sadly there are people who will make the decision to get behind the wheel knowing they have consumed alcohol and/or drugs and are not fit to drive.
“The harsh reality is that their selfish actions could result in our officers and innocent road users having to deal with the horrific consequences of drink or drug driving.
“The images our officers see when they’re called to the scene of a collision stay with them forever. They don’t want to be knocking on any doors this Christmas to break the news that someone has been killed.
“We work tirelessly 24/7 to keep the roads safe but we need your help. Please don’t get behind the wheel if you have been drinking or taking drugs.
“We are better equipped than ever to detect offenders and it is only a matter of time before you’re caught and put before the courts.
“We’re asking everyone to do their bit to help keep the roads safe this Christmas.
“If you know someone who drink or drug drives, please do the right thing and report them. The information you give could help stop a family being torn apart this Christmas.”
Essex Police has issued the following information on how to report someone who drink or drug drives:
1. Dial 999 if you know someone is drunk or has taken drugs and you see them getting behind the wheel of a car.
2. Call Essex Police on 101 to give police information about someone who regularly chooses to drink and drive.
3. Tell Crimestoppers anonymously about people who repeatedly drink and drive by calling 0800 555 111 or visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org. You won’t have to give your name, no personal details are recorded and you won’t have to go to court.