Police arrest 11 Crawley people in festive crackdown

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Police arrested 11 people in Crawley and Gatwick as part of its Christmas crackdown on drink drivers.

Officers stop-checked roads with a history of drink-driving during the campaign, Operation Dragonfly.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said the arrests were made over 11 days in December, in Crawley Avenue, Chapman Road, Southgate Avenue, Sylvan Road, London Road, Ferndown, Marion Road and Horsham Road in Crawley and Cargo Road and the South Terminal in Gatwick.

Chief Inspector Justina Beeken, district police commander for Crawley, said: “We are currently evaluating how the December campaign went to see if it could be adapted to catch even more offenders so that we can make the roads safer in future campaigns.

“There is nothing to suggest that drink-driving is an issue in Crawley in particular.

“We will continue to work with our colleagues in the road policing unit to run regular operations to target drink and drug drivers in Crawley as well as anyone putting the lives of road users at risk.”

Road policing unit officers were sent on patrols in the joint operation by Surrey and Sussex Police.

Officers responded to tip-offs from members of the public of suspected drink or drug-drivers.

It was the forces’ first joint crackdown on the offences.

The police spokesman said 179 drivers were charged from the 284 arrested in Surrey and Sussex last month.

He said 178 drivers were arrested in Sussex.

The arrests saw 114 drivers charged with 21 convicted so far. A total of 28 were on police bail and 36 had been released without a charge.

Chief InspectorBeeken added: “It is disappointing that we continue to find people who are willing to ignore the law and mix drinking and driving. It puts everyone who uses the roads in danger and we will not tolerate it.

“I am glad that we have so far succeeded in getting more than 20 motorists banned from the roads because of their behaviour in December and am sure more will follow as their cases are heard by the courts.”

Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, Drive Smart in Surrey and Crimestoppers supported the campaign.