Police 'disappointed and frustrated' by Harrogate's drink-drive arrest numbers

High number of drink-drive arrests in Harrogate
High number of drink-drive arrests in Harrogate

North Yorkshire Police have admitted they are disappointed by the results of their winter drink driving campaign after making 16 arrests across Harrogate.

Operation Attention, which ran across the festive season, saw a total of 124 people arrested throughout December - up 20 per cent on last year's figures.

However, despite the increase of 21 arrests on last year's campaigns, the number of people detained by police in Harrogate fell by more than 15 per cent.

While the number of arrests across Harrogate have dropped, DCC Madgwick said he still finds it 'staggering' how many people are caught breaking the law.

He said: "At the beginning of Operation Attention we issued a clear warning that we would be patrolling our roads looking for drink and drug drivers and that on arrest, they would face serious consequences.

"That's why it is both frustrating and disappointing to see a large number of drivers chose not to heed our warning and acted irresponsibly, putting themselves and other road users at risk.

"In spite of the devastation that drink and drug driving causes being common knowledge, I find it staggering that people still choose to flout the law and drive whilst under the influence of drink or drugs. I have said it many times before, the safe limit is zero."

During the campaign, it's estimated that more than 2000 breathalyser tests were conducted by officers with 32 of the 124 arrests made for drug driving.

However, the majority of these arrests were made as a result of drink driving with the highest breathalyser reading being provided by a 40-year-old woman from Richmond who blew over five times the legal limit.

Some of those arrested in the early stages of the campaign have now been dealt with by the courts, with two drivers being handed heavy fines and lengthy bans.

38-year-old Netra Phagami from Catterick was arrested after providing a reading of 91ug. He has been ordered to pay a total of £795 in fines and charges and has been disqualified from driving for 36 months and ordered to attend a drink impaired driver programme.

56-year-old Anthony Sambidge from South Milford, Selby was ordered by York Magistrates Court to pay £375 in fines and charges and banned from driving for 18 months after providing a breathalyser reading of 70ug.

DCC Madgwick said: ""Whilst the Christmas campaign may of come to an end - there will be no let up from officers looking out for drink and drug drivers on North Yorkshire's roads and I urge the communities of North Yorkshire to join us in the fight against drink and drug driving by reporting anyone they suspect of getting behind the wheel while impaired."