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Local drink-drive tip-offs working

 
Created on 20/11/2017 @ 13:21
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Calls to report local drink-drivers are on the increase and have contributed to the number of tests to arrests nearly doubling.

Dyfed-Powys Police tested 1,600 fewer motorists in this year's summer crackdown campaign than in June 2016. As a result, there were fewer positive tests, but when the percentage of tests to arrests is worked out, there is a jump from 3.2% in 2016 to 5.9% in 2017.

“The hit rate has almost doubled,” Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llewelyn is reported as saying by the BBC.

The commissioner was responding to concerns that a fall in the number of roadside breath tests reflected cuts to frontline services.

But he said that police tactics had changed and they were using a more intelligence-led approach.

He said: “In the past, there was an element of randomness to stop-checks. There was a lack of being as efficient as they could be. They should be intelligence-led and less random.”

Concerns were raised in September when it was revealed the total number of breath-tests carried out in Wales during the June summer anti-drink-drive campaign had halved.

In 2016, there were 9,500 tests carried out across Wales during the month, while in 2017, it was just 4,600.

In the Dyfed-Powys force area, the number of tests dropped from 2,751 to 1,133 but the percentage rate of arrests increased in their force area.

It meant that while in 2016 Dyfed-Powys Police needed to stop about 250 cars to catch eight drink-drivers - in the 2017 campaign, officers needed to stop under 140 cars to catch the same number of offenders.

In August, the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said breath tests figures across the UK were a cause for concern.

“To keep members of the public safe we need to have roads policing officers targeting the 'fatal four' which includes drink/drug driving,” said Jayne Willetts, from the federation.

Mr Llywelyn added the new approach relied on members of the public tipping off officers.

He said: “If Dafydd Llywelyn has been sitting in a pub drinking all evening and then gets in his car to drive home, we would hope his actions would be reported to the police and he would he intercepted before he had an accident.”

 

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