More than 50 people were arrested as part of a police drink and drugs driving crackdown

Police caught up with Shace Whittlesey - wanted for assault - after he had first fled by jumping ove

Police caught up with Shace Whittlesey - wanted for assault - after he had first fled by jumping over a fence before hiding for the night in a shed. Picture; ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Officers in Cambridgeshire launched a campaign to catch those driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol over the Christmas and new year period.

As part of an annual campaign by the National Police Chief's Council (NPCC) officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit (RPU) conducted additional stop-checks throughout December to tackle drink or drug driving.

The NPCC operation ran from 18 December to 1 January and saw officers from every police force in England and Wales target drink and drug driving, particularly around Christmas and New Year's Eve.

During the same timeframe, 43 motorists were arrested in Cambridgeshire on suspicion of drink driving and nine were arrested on suspicion of drug driving.

PC Jon Morris, casualty reduction officer at Cambridgeshire Constabulary, said: "It is pleasing to see the number of drivers stopped across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire as part of the campaign and I hope that our work has made drivers think twice about getting behind the wheel while under the influence.

"Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving ability. As always if you're drinking, even if you have just one, arrange another way of getting home.

"Remember, our officers can't be everywhere but they could be anywhere, so please don't gamble with your life or your future by driving after consuming drink or drugs. It's really not worth the risk."

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Across the three counties, RPU officers stopped 559 vehicles in December, with every single one of those drivers asked to take a roadside breath test.

Of these 19 were positive, refused or failed breath tests. A total of 37 drug wipes were also taken and of these, four were positive.

A total of 48 venues across Cambridgeshire signed up to support the campaign last month by taking part in the 'I'm DES' scheme - triple the number of venues compared to last year and one of the highest recorded numbers in recent years.

The initiative, led by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership (CPRSP), aims to reduce the number of road traffic collisions caused by drink driving over the festive period.

PC Morris said: "Thank you to the high number of venues who supported the I'm DES scheme this time round and everyone who called our drink and drug drive hotline, which can be called in confidence at any time of day or night to report those driving under the influence."

The force operates a dedicated, confidential hotline for members of the public to report drink or drug driving.

There were 16 calls to the hotline throughout December, and a total of 110 calls in 2019.

The hotline: 0800 032 0845 is available 24/7, and gives people the chance to supply the police with information to help reduce the number of drink or drug drivers on our roads.

Being caught drink or drug driving could result in a 12-month driving ban, up to six months in prison, a fine of up to £2,500 and a criminal record.

For more information about drink or drug driving, the law and the dangers it can cause, visit