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Drug driving campaign launched as numbers soar

(Adobe Stock)

The charity Crimestoppers Wales has launched a new campaign to target those who get behind the wheel and drug drive.

From the twelve months April 2020 to April 2021, the charity received 1,097 reports on drink and drug driving across the four Welsh Police Force areas; for the seven-month period April 2021 to October 2021 they received 1,020 anonymous reports. That is almost the same number of reports in seven months as the whole of last year.

Drug driving reports continue to rise year-on-year at an alarming rate.

The charity has been told by North Wales Police that arrests for drug driving in their area have also continued to rise; between January and September this year they have made 716 drug driving arrests.

One in twenty fatalities on our roads nationally are caused by drug drivers.

The campaign seeks to increase anonymous reporting by the public of those who regularly drug drive so that they are banned from driving, making our roads safer for everyone.

Many victims of road traffic collisions are passengers in cars driven by those who are under the influence of drugs or who are in cars that are hit by impaired drug drivers. Community intelligence given to our charity is vital in keeping our roads safe and catching those who regularly drink and drug drive.

Hayley Fry, Regional Manager Wales for the charity Crimestoppers, said:

“Whilst we are encouraged to see the rise in reports that we have received from the public, it highlights that drug driving is a major issue in Wales. During lockdown, reports about drug driving increased and this has continued over the last seven months.

“Many innocent lives are being put at risk by a small number of people who choose to break the law. Drug drivers put other people’s lives at risk and your information could help prevent a potentially damaging or fatal collision from happening.

“Our campaigns seek to both discourage those who may be thinking of getting behind the wheel and ensure they consider the implications of their actions on themselves, their families, or the families of potential victims. We are letting them know that people who take drugs and then drive are being reported, stopped, tested, and banned.

“Since we began in the late 1980s, we’ve always kept our promise that everyone who contacts us stays 100% anonymous. Always.

“If you have information, please use our anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or call our UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111. Everyone has a part to play in making our roads safer across Wales.”