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56 people arrested for drink-driving in the Thames Valley

56 people arrested during first week of Christmas anti-drink drug drive campaign. Credit: PA Images

Thames Valley Police have arrested 56 people on suspicion of drink-driving in the first week of a Christmas anti-drink drug drive campaign.

The ‘Is it worth the risk?’ campaign was launched on Monday 1 December and is aimed at targeting drink and drug drivers over the festive period. A total of 2,779 people have so far been breath tested.

Of those arrested, 46 were men and 10 were women. In total, 31 of the 56 arrested have been charged, 17 have been released on bail pending further enquiries and eight people have been released with no further action.

This year’s arrests show a 20% decrease on the 70 arrests made during the same period in 2013.

The campaign, which runs until 1 January, will see police targeting individuals they suspect of driving under the influence of drink or drugs, both on the way home from nights out and the morning after a heavy night.

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Police catch morning-after drivers

Thames Valley had the most drink-drivers caught in 2011 and 2012 - a total of 4,783. Credit: PA Images

Police are catching more "morning after" drink-drivers, according to latest figures.

The number of people arrested for drink-driving between 6am and 8am rose nearly 4% between 2011 and 2012, police statistics published by car insurance company LV= showed.

A further LV= survey of 1,688 drivers showed that 3% had driven while over the legal limit the morning after a drinking session in the last two years.

The arrest figures were obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request and were based on replies from 22 of the 45 British police constabularies.

Of the police forces that gave information, Thames Valley had the most drink-drivers caught in 2011 and 2012 - a total of 4,783. Thames Valley has also recorded the highest number for the year to early November of 2,095.

The "drunkest" driver of 2013 so far has been a motorist arrested by Bedfordshire Police who was eight times over the legal limit.

The LV= survey showed that 46% of drivers underestimated, or did not know how long, it took for alcohol to leave the body, while 30% of men and 19% of women admitted to having driven at least once after a heavy drinking session the night before.

Funding boost for mentoring scheme

A project designed to cut re-offending rates through a mentoring scheme has secured £40,000 to support its work.

Thames Valley Partnership will use the grant to take on two new staff members for its New Leaf programme, which works across Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

The project provides volunteer-based mentoring to offenders on their release from prison.

Project manager Caroline Stevens said: "Demand for our charity's services has doubled in the past year and we are also extending our project to include young offenders.

"With this new funding we will be able to provide more offenders with support that will increase their self-esteem and decrease social exclusion and re-offending rates through volunteering."

Thames Valley Police to offer further support for those with mental health problems

One of our region's police forces has been selected for a pilot scheme which aims to improve the treatment of people with mental health problems.

Thames Valley Police, which covers the county of Buckinghamshire, is one of a number of police forces taking part in the street triage scheme.

Mental health nurses will accompany officers to certain incidents to offer help and support. The aim is to ensure that people get the medical attention they need as quickly as possible.

As part of the scheme, mental health nurses will:

  • Support police officers while they are out on patrol.
  • Assist officers when they are responding to emergency calls.
  • Give advice to staff in police control rooms.

Initial reports from established street triage schemes in other parts of the country show that it can help to keep people out of custodial settings and reduce the demands on valuable police time.

Making sure people with mental health problems get the right assessment, care and treatment they need as quickly as possible is really important, especially in emergency situations.

We know that some police forces are already doing an extremely good job of handling circumstances involving mentally ill people but we want this to be the reality everywhere. By providing police forces with the support of health professionals we can give officers the skills they need to treat vulnerable people appropriately in times of crisis.

– Norman Lamb MP

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Anthony Stansfield the new PCC for Thames Valley

Anthony Stansfeld (C) 76,011 (34.70%)

Tim Starkey (Lab) 56,631 (25.85%)

Geoff Howard (Ind) 31,716 (14.48%)

John Howson (LD) 20,511 (9.36%)

Barry Cooper (Ukip) 19,324 (8.82%)

Patience Tayo Awe (Ind) 14,878 (6.79%)

Eliminated: Patience Tayo Awe, Barry Cooper, Geoff Howard, John Howson

(Second Count)

Distribution of Awe's, Cooper's, Howard's and Howson's votes

Anthony Stansfeld (C) 94,238

Tim Starkey (Lab) 70,403

Elected: Anthony Stansfeld

Electorate 1,700,994; Turnout 219,071 (12.88%)

PCC election: Thames Valley

PCC ELECTION THAMES VALLEY (Standings after first count)

Anthony Stansfeld (C) 76,011 (34.70%)

Tim Starkey (Lab) 56,631 (25.85%)

Geoff Howard (Ind) 31,716 (14.48%)

John Howson (LD) 20,511 (9.36%)

Barry Cooper (Ukip) 19,324 (8.82%)

Patience Tayo Awe (Ind) 14,878 (6.79%)

Eliminated: Patience Tayo Awe, Barry Cooper, Geoff Howard, John Howson

Electorate 1,700,994; Turnout 219,071 (12.88%)