Police make 182 arrests in Christmas crackdown

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A total of 182 arrests were made over Christmas as part of a Sussex Police crackdown on drink and drug-drivers.

Operation Dragonfly, which ran from December 1 to December 31, has been hailed a success and a large number of people were also arrested on New Year’s Day.

According to police they include Liam Thompson, 23, a painter, of no fixed address, who was arrested in Terringes Avenue, Worthing on January 1.

He has been charged with driving with 57mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, driving with no licence, driving with no insurance, possession of cocaine and escaping from custody, a police statement said.

He is due to appear before Worthing Magistrates’ Court on January 19.

Lee Russell, 33, a brick layer, of Gravits Lane, Bognor Regis, was arrested in Burnham Avenue, Bognor Regis, on Friday, January 1 and charged with driving with 52mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system. He is due to appear before Worthing Magistrates’ Court on January 21.

The police statement also named Andrey Nowak, 47, a farm worker, of Stroud Green Drive, Bognor Regis, who was arrested in South Way, Bognor Regis, on Saturday, January 2, and charged with driving with 140mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system and driving with no insurance.

He was due to appear before Crawley Magistrates’ Court today, Monday, January 4.

Of the 182 arrests made in December, a total of 27 people have been convicted, and a further 72 have been charged and are due to appear in court.

Officers have arrested an additional 21 motorists on suspicion of drink and drug-driving offences since the start of the new year.

Of these, 13 have been charged to appear at court.

Phil Nicholas, chief inspector of the Sussex Police Roads Policing Unit, says he is disappointed that a number of people continue to break the law, putting their lives, and others’, at risk.

He said: “I feel the campaign has been a success in that we have arrested a large number of people who may otherwise have been involved in an accident or ended up causing fatalities on the roads in Sussex.

“However, it is extremely disappointing that some people have not taken heed of the message, as is reflected in the statistics with 21 more people being arrested for drink and drug-driving related offences in the first three days of 2016 - ten on New Year’s Day alone.

“It shows that this campaign is not aimed solely at targeting drink and drug-drivers at Christmas; it is a year-round strategy and we will continue to bring offenders to justice.”

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