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110 arrests made over Christmas as police crackdown on drink and drug-drivers

A Christmas crackdown on drink and drug-drivers led to 110 arrests in Sussex in just 15 days.

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The annual campaign aims to educate motorists about the dangers of driving under the influence, and target those who put the lives of themselves and others at risk on our roads.

A total of 110 arrests were made by Sussex Police during the operation which ran from Wednesday 18 December to Wednesday 1 January inclusive – 73 on suspicion of drink-driving and 37 on suspicion of drug-driving.

This dedicated campaign is run in conjunction with Surrey Police, and is in addition to our officers responding to reports of drink and drug-driving 365 days a year.

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said:

“I’m surprised and hugely disappointed that drink and drug-driving is still considered by some people to be socially acceptable.

“While the vast majority of motorists abide by the law, it seems there will always be a number of ignorant and selfish road users who refuse to take our advice on board. Not only do you risk ruining Christmas, you also risk ruining your life, or someone else’s.

“It shouldn’t take a trip to police custody to give you the wake-up call; motorists need to wake up now and be alert to the extreme dangers associated with driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Every year we arrest drivers who say they “only had a couple” or they were “only around the corner”. We’ve heard every excuse in the book, but the bottom line is there is no excuse.

“Change your behaviour now, or it could change your life forever.”

Details of people convicted as part of the campaign will be published on our website.

If you’re prepared to drive under the influence of drink or drugs, prepare to face the consequences. These could include the following:

  • Killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else;
  • A minimum 12 month ban;
  • An unlimited fine;
  • A possible prison sentence;
  • A criminal record, which could affect your current and future employment;
  • An increase in your car insurance costs;
  • Trouble travelling to countries such as the USA.

People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug-driving, or visit the Operation Crackdown website. 

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online. 

If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs, call 999.

Lifestyle

Safety warning calls after two washing fires including one in Southgate, Crawley

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Firefighters are reminding householders of some simple safety steps when using electrical appliances such as tumble dryers and washing machines.

It follows two incidents in two days.

In the first incident firefighters were called after a pile of folded washing caught fire after being tumble-dried over the weekend.

A crew from Bognor Regis Fire Station was mobilised at 01.56am on Saturday to reports of a fire in a home on Lion Road in Pagham.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the property was heavily smoked logged, but thanks to a working smoke alarm, the three occupants had been alerted and had been able to escape from the property.

The fire started after the home owner had washed and tumble-dried some towels earlier on in the evening. These were then stacked and put in a hessian type bag in the hallway. But in the early hours of the morning, the towels, which had self-heated, began to smoke and caught fire. Fortunately, the homeowner had a working smoke alarm.

Crews removed the towels to fresh air and extinguished them.

In the second incident  at 4.10pm on Sunday, firefighters were called to a washing machine fire in a first floor flat in Imperial Mews. Two appliances from Crawley and a Surrey Fire & Rescue Service crew from Salfords were mobilised. On arrival, firefighters wearing two sets of breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using a hose reel and a CO2 extinguisher.

The fire damaged washing machine was removed from the property. Nobody was injured during the incident, but the property sustained smoke damage which meant the resident needed alternative accommodation for the night.

Simon Foster, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Performance Risk and Improvement Team Group Manager said:

“At this time of year, people are using their tumble dryers far more than at other times of the year.

“When taking clothes out of the tumble dryer, make sure you wait for laundry to cool down before putting it away. Oil residue and oxygenating chemicals from stain removing detergents can create a chemical reaction causing items like tea towels to self-heat, smoulder and could catch fire.

“Once clothes have cooled down, make sure you store them in a well-ventilated area.”  

The fire service is reminding people of the following safety tips when using electrical appliances:

•Look out for product recall notices.

•Register your appliance – appliances up to 12 years old can be registered on the Register My Appliance website.

•Don’t run appliances such as tumble dryers, washing machines or dishwashers overnight or when you are out.

•Always read the manufacturer’s instructions.

•Have your appliance serviced by a qualified engineer.

•Do not put rags or materials into a tumble dryer if they have been used to soak up flammable liquids. You can find out more about home fire safety by visiting the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service website here: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-and-rescue-service/home-fire-safety/electrical-and-heating-appliance-safety-advice/

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