Wiltshire drink-drive blitz finds all drivers stopped were obeying the law

This Is Wiltshire: This driver, stopped in Trowbridge last night, was among the hundreds who gave a negative breath test as part of Operation Harness This driver, stopped in Trowbridge last night, was among the hundreds who gave a negative breath test as part of Operation Harness

More than 1,200 drivers were stopped yesterday as part of a county-wide crackdown on drink driving.

The day of action was undertaken by the Roads Policing Unit at Wiltshire Police under Operation Harness.

Operation Harness is a long-term collaborative project aimed at targeting crimes which affect our communities the most.

Out of the 1,231 drivers stopped, a total of 1,143 were breathalised. None of these results were positive.

The day consisted of three parts.

In the morning, officers assisted Community Speed Watch volunteers at 16 sites across the county.

Any drivers caught speeding were breathalised. The results from this part of the operation were as follows: 135 drivers were breathalised - all negative.

155 speeding letters will be sent to offending drivers.

Eight high speed offences were detected at the sites by police officers.

One driver was given a speeding fixed penalty ticket and a cannabis street caution.

From 5pm - midnight, police officers were stationed at stop points in Salisbury, Chippenham, Trowbridge and Swindon.

The results of this part of the operation were as follows: 1,231 drivers were stopped.

1,143 drivers were breathalised - all were negative.

Two people were arrested - one for driving whilst unfit through drugs and one for driving a stolen vehicle.

Two drug driving tests were undertaken.

Two stop searches were undertaken. 35 verbal warnings given for lighting offences.

Nine fixed penalty notices given for motoring offences.

One report for summons for a motoring offence.

One pursuit (which resulted in one of the arrests above).

During the afternoon, officers also held a Safe Drive Stay Alive presentation to 400 students at the Neeld Hall, Chippenham.

The presentation included speakers from Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, a motorcyclist injured in a road traffic collision and two mothers whose sons died in collisions.

Inspector Steve Cox, head of the Roads Policing Unit, was joined by Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson in Chiseldon at first light yesterday.

Inspector Cox said: “Operation Harness tackles issues that matter most to our communities. Yesterday, the focus was on keeping our roads safe.

“In the morning session, we were concentrating on people who might have been out celebrating the night before and who should not be attempting to drive in the morning because of the level of alcohol in their system.

“It is reassuring that none of the drivers stopped had a breath test reading which would have resulted in an arrest - but this works as a very effective preventative measure.

“We want people to enjoy themselves at Christmas, but we want them to stay safe, and that means using public transport or having a nominated driver to get people home safely.

"It is also important during this party season that nominated drivers do not allow themselves to be brow-beaten into drinking. They must resist any temptation to have a drink and remember that they are there for the safety of their friends.

“Sadly, we heard the terrible details at an inquest this week about the deaths of two teenage girls on the A419 in the summer. Unfortunately alcohol was involved in that accident which also left three others with serious injuries.”

PCC Angus Macpherson said: “I have provided funding to re-invigorate Community Speed Watch and to make the process more robust and effective.

“It was good that the Constabulary had assigned officers to work alongside the Community Speed Watch teams across Swindon and Wiltshire yesterday.

“The activity yesterday will reassure the public that road safety is taken very seriously, and it is also a timely reminder that people can fail a breath test the morning after the night before.

“It is worth saying that police activity to keep our roads safe goes on all round the year, but yesterday their good work was given a high profile."

To report someone for a drink driving offence, call Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.

For more information on Operation Harness, log onto www.wiltshire.police.uk and follow the link to the Op Harness section. You can also follow OpHarness on Twitter.


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