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Police Charge 66 in Summer Crackdown on Drug- and Drink-Driving

Published on: 22 Jul, 2016
Updated on: 22 Jul, 2016

BreathalyzerBy Will Parsons

Operation Dragonfly, a five week campaign by Surrey and Sussex Police to crack down on drink- and drug-driving, has led to the arrest of 108 people in Surrey, of whom 66 have been charged, final results show.

The campaign, in which officers undertook dedicated patrols to target motorists under the influence of intoxicating substances, ran from June 6 to July 10 – running a week longer than previous projects to cover the whole period of the UEFA football championships.

Surrey Police’s Roads Policing Unit (RPU) regularly updated the public during the operation through their Twitter account @SurreyRoadCops, using the hashtag “#OpDragonfly” on related posts.

Operation Dragonfly

At the beginning of the campaign, Sergeant Phil Badman, of the Surrey and Sussex Police RPU, said: “A lot of people like to have a drink when the sun is out, whether they are on holiday, having a barbecue or relaxing with friends. While we encourage everyone to enjoy themselves and have fun in the sun, we also want them to act responsibly.

“If you’re driving to an event or a venue, think about your journey home and plan ahead. Book a cab, take public transport or get a lift with someone who hasn’t been drinking or taking drugs.

Operation Dragonfly Stats

Operation Dragonfly Statistics

“Don’t be tempted to get behind the wheel and drive yourself, even if you think you’re fine.”

Although the summer campaign resulted in fewer convictions than the previous campaign during Christmas, which saw 76 people charged by its end date, Inspector Alan Nicholls of the Surrey and Sussex RPU said there was no time for complacency.

He said: “The figures demonstrate that no matter what time of year it is, some drivers continue to take risks and get behind the wheel whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.

“We work hard to hit home the message that drink or drug driving will not be tolerated, and the consequences that such actions could have on our roads.

“Some motorists just think they are above the law and can get away with it; but I want them to think how they would feel if it was their child who was injured, or indeed killed, as a result of a person drink or drug driving.

“One thing is for sure – if you are caught driving under the influence of drink or drugs you will be dealt with robustly. This includes a minimum of a 12 month ban and can include heavy fines, community sentences, and in some cases time behind bars.”

He went on to urge anyone who has witnessed drink or drug driving, or knows someone who regularly takes to the road under the influence of drugs or alcohol, to report the information to the police.

Information can be passed via text, phone, email, or on the Surrey Police website. Alternatively, anonymous calls can be made to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Inspector Nicholls concluded: “If you know someone who regularly drink- or drug-drives, please do the right thing and pass on the information. You could help save a life.”

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Responses to Police Charge 66 in Summer Crackdown on Drug- and Drink-Driving

  1. Dave Middleton Reply

    July 22, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    A commendable result, but it could’ve been so much more had Surrey not all but dissolved it’s Traffic Police Department.

    I don’t know for sure about Sussex but I believe they did have. or may even still have a sizeable traffic department.

    Time was that the Home Office recommendation was that 10% of a force’s strength should be dedicated to traffic policing. I bet Surrey is nowhere near that now. Surrey has a tiny traffic department or “Roads Policing Unit” as it’s now called.

    I can recall the Surrey department being around 150 strong, before it was halved in the early 2000s and reduced even farther in recent years.

    Going back even further into the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, drivers of ramshackle trucks and travelling villains, along with motorcycle gangs, would actively avoid going through Surrey because of the reputation of the traffic department as being very active coppers and thief takers.

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