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EAST DEVON: Police reveal ‘staggering’ drink driving figures

Friday, 07 February 2014

The proportion of positive results from breath tests for Christmas 2013 was higher than the year before, new figures released by Devon and Cornwall Police reveal.
Police administered 1,326 breath tests, of which 167 were positive, refused or failed to provide – 12.5 per cent of the total. In 2012 only 11.8 per cent of those tested produced positive results.
A 28-year-old woman from Devon was caught more than four times over the limit during the Christmas period.
However, the proportion of positive breath tests following a collision was lower this year, with just 21 out of 361 found positive.
Inspector Richard Pryce, Roads Policing Inspector, said: “The overall percentage of positive tests is slightly higher which is disappointing. The positive drink driving figure is still too high.
“Some of the detection results we had are staggering. I find it utterly incredible that some individuals will drive after drinking so much as to be three or four times the drink drive limit.
“They show scant regard for the lives of other people on the road. For some, clearly the messages are not getting through.
“As always, catching drink drivers is a year-round priority for us and we will continue to crack down on drink and drug driving to actively contribute to making our roads safer.”
New figures also reveal overall crime in Devon and Cornwall has fallen by 2.6 per cent in 2013 - a reduction of 2,235 crimes – but the incidence of certain types of offence has risen sharply.
The force has seen reductions in burglary, vehicle offences and criminal damage, but violence without injury, public order offences and sexual offences were all up by more than 10 per cent.
Devon and Cornwall Deputy Chief Constable, Bill Skelly, highlighted alcohol as a frequent cause of violent behaviour in the region, and said the force is looking at ways to manage the problem.
He said: “There is no doubt that violent and sexual offences are aggravated and at times caused by alcohol, and that it also impacts heavily on areas such as domestic abuse. We estimate alcohol to be involved in at least 35 per cent of violent crime, so the consumption, licensing and selling of alcohol is having a huge impact on communities. There is already extensive work going on with partners and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to look at how this can be most effectively managed.”
Deputy Chief Constable Skelly added: “The figures show Devon and Cornwall remains a safe place to live, work and visit.
“A small rise in crime in some areas does not make Devon and Cornwall less safe, but none the less, we have to constantly observe crime trends to reduce offences and work with our partners to deal with the root cause of them as soon as possible.”


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