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Three arrested for drug driving during police crackdown

PUBLISHED: 19:00 17 December 2018 | UPDATED: 19:33 17 December 2018

Insp Julian Ditcham stands with other officers taking party in the operation Picture: ARCHANT

Insp Julian Ditcham stands with other officers taking party in the operation Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

No less than 55 road offences were committed and three people arrested for drug-driving as police carried out a crackdown.

Inspector Chris Hinitt, of the Suffolk and Norfolk roads policing unit. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYInspector Chris Hinitt, of the Suffolk and Norfolk roads policing unit. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

The operation was held in Ipswich and focused on the so-called “four fatals”, motoring offences that could lead to a fatal road collision, – speeding, operating a mobile phone whilst driving, not using a seat belt and drink or drug driving.

A total of four people were arrested during the crackdown which took place at the Hadleigh Road Sainsburys in Ipswich on Friday, December 14.

Three were arrested in connection with drug-driving offences and another as part of a police warrant.

Although the day focused on several offences with 71 vehicles escorted to the site, drug driving was at the forefront of the operation.

The operation was attended by a large amount of Suffolk officers Picture: ARCHANTThe operation was attended by a large amount of Suffolk officers Picture: ARCHANT

Detective Inspector Chris Hinitt said: “With drink-driving we are getting the sense that it’s the same as it has been for the last few years, it hasn’t got worse.

“But there has been an increase in drug-driving. We have had 37 arrests for drug-driving in Suffolk since the first of the month, including today.”

Det Insp Hinitt said officers mainly find motorists using recreational drugs like cocaine and cannabis.

He believes drug-driving has become “socially acceptable” by both passengers and motorists.

Four arrests took place during the crackdown Picture: ARCHANTFour arrests took place during the crackdown Picture: ARCHANT

He said: “If you knowingly take drugs and then get behind the wheel of a car you can’t plead ignorance, you know it will increase your chance of crashing.

“People who do that are idiots and they don’t care about the consequences of their actions.”

His colleague Det Insp Julian Ditcham was overseeing the whole day of operations.

He said: “It seems at times to be accepted by some individuals that drug-driving is not as bad as drink-driving. Anything that affects your ability to drive is a problem.”

Rigsby the drug dog with his handler PC Chris Squirrell Picture: ARCHANTRigsby the drug dog with his handler PC Chris Squirrell Picture: ARCHANT

Vehicles that committed traffic offences along Hadleigh road were taken in and checked by police.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras were also used to find vehicles of interest. Once in the supermarket car park, the vehicles were checked for road worthiness by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. Drivers were also swabbed for drugs and checked for drink consumption.

Jaz and Rigsby, the force’s top drug dogs, assisted officers in their work.

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