Police arrest 1,000 suspected drug drivers in just six months
PUBLISHED: 19:11 01 July 2019 | UPDATED: 19:20 01 July 2019
The number of drug driving arrests in Essex so far this year has almost outstripped the total for the whole of 2018 - prompting concern among officers desperate to keep the roads safe.
More than 150 people were arrested on suspicion of drug driving on Essex's roads last month, taking this year's running total to nearly 1,000.
Police are warning potential offenders about the "huge impact" that such reckless decisions could have on both them and their families, advising: "Simply, don't do it."
In June, 153 people were arrested on suspicion of drug driving, taking the total number for the first half of 2019 to 955.
This is less than 100 arrests shy of last year's total - sparking serious concern among those tackling crime on the roads.
Temporary Chief Inspector Sharn Taylor, head of road policing, said: "We continue to see large numbers of people not only taking drugs which are illegal anyway, but then get into a car and risk their lives and those of others on our road.
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"What these figures also show is that the public we serve can be confident that we will detect and arrest those flouting the law.
"We have more officers trained to use drug wipes and we regularly test drivers we stop on the side of the road when we've stopped them on suspicion of routine traffic offences or erratic driving.
"My officers will continue to carry out targeted and proactive work to take those who get behind the wheel after using drugs off our roads.
"I know our communities feel as strongly about this issue as we do and intelligence from the public can be crucial.
"If you have any information about a drink or drug driver I need you to call us on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
"If get caught drink or drug driving you could lose your licence. You could lose your job as a result and that could have a huge impact on you and your family.
"Simply, don't do it. Our message this summer is drive safe, drive sober."
Throughout June, 119 people were also arrested on suspicion of drink driving and 36 were arrested for failing to provide a specimen.