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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.

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Langley Green, Crawley man who posed as delivery driver jailed for attempted robbery

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[Left to right: Cavelle Robinson, Jeamelle Baptiste, Ryan Roche]

A Crawley man is among three men who have been jailed in connection with an attempted robbery where they posed as delivery drivers and forced their way into the home of a terrified mother and her young children in south London.

Ryan Roche, 27 (28.06.93), of Melbourne Grove, Southwark, was sentenced to four years and three months’ imprisonment at Inner London Crown Court on Friday, 15 January while Jeamelle Baptiste, 28, of Juniper Road, Crawley, West Sussex, (03.11.92) was sentenced to three years and 11 months’ imprisonment.

Cavelle Robinson, 26 (25.04.94), of Grange Road, Croydon, was sentenced at the same court on 8 December 2020 to three years’ imprisonment.

All three pleaded guilty to attempted robbery at the same court on Monday, 28 September. In addition, Robinson pleaded guilty to possession of a Class B drug (cannabis).

The court heard that at about 18:50hrs on Friday, 3 July, Robinson drove Roche and Baptiste to near a residential address in Dulwich.

Baptiste posed as a delivery man – even wearing a delivery company’s t-shirt and a surgical facemask – and rang the doorbell. When the victim – a woman in her 30s – opened the door, Baptiste told her he had a parcel for her. She told him to leave it on the doorstep. He asked for her name and after she replied, he said he had made a mistake and he left.

A few minutes later, the victim heard the doorbell ring several times. She eventually opened the door while holding her one-year-old daughter. Baptiste was once again at the door holding the parcel. The victim told him to leave it on the doorstep when Roche, who was hiding to one side, jumped out and forcibly pushed the victim into the house.

Roche was also wearing a facemask.

The victim pleaded with the suspects not to attack her or hurt her child. Roche and Baptiste kept repeatedly ‘where are the drugs?’. The victim replied there were no drugs in the address, but there was some money in a container on the kitchen counter.

When Baptiste and Roche turned their backs to look at the money, the victim took the opportunity to run into her garden and shouted ‘call the police, I am being attacked.’ She saw a neighbour in his window. Roche went into the garden, grabbed her arm and dragged her back inside the house.

Clearly spooked by the victim’s actions, Baptiste said to Roche ‘let’s go.’ Baptiste ran out the front door and Roche quickly followed. The victim ran out into the road and again shout that she was being attacked and to call the police.

A number of neighbours left their houses and chased after the suspects. One of the neighbours saw the two men enter a black Volkswagen Golf, which was parked nearby.

Immediately after this neighbour called the police, officers in a marked vehicle saw the car approach a junction at speed. They blocked the car at the junction and Roche and Robinson were detained and arrested. Baptiste ran from the front passenger seat and began garden hopping – discarding clothes as he ran – but he was soon detained and arrested.

Officers searched the vehicle, registered to Robinson, and found the delivery company t-shirt in the front passenger foot well.

Detective Sergeant Chris Shepherd, from the Central South area’s Burglary and Robbery Investigation Team, said:
 

“This case of mistaken identity was an absolutely terrifying ordeal for the victim and her three young children. Luckily, she bravely used an opportunity presented to her to run outside and alert her neighbours.

“I’d like to thank her neighbours for being so vigilant and for calling the police, providing excellent descriptions of the suspects and the getaway vehicle. This allowed nearby response officers to swiftly apprehend and arrest the culprits of this abhorrent crime. The evidence we put together left the suspects no choice but to plead guilty.”

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