£1,000 reward to shop drink-drivers

Herald Series: West Midlands Police are offering rewards of up to 1,000 for information on drink-drivers West Midlands Police are offering rewards of up to 1,000 for information on drink-drivers

Cash rewards of up to £1,000 are being offered to Christmas and New Year revellers who report drink-drivers to the police.

Derbyshire Constabulary and West Midlands Police are promoting the rewards to help catch drivers who are over the alcohol limit or under the influence of drugs.

Running until New Year's Day, the scheme will see posters placed in pubs and clubs urging drinkers to report those flouting the law to the Crimestoppers hotline.

The crime reduction charity offers rewards of up to £1,000 for information leading to the arrest and charge of drink-drivers, with the size of the payment dependent on the nature and seriousness of the offence.

During last year's campaign in Derbyshire, officers carried out 391 breath tests, of which 79 gave a positive reading or refused to take the test.

Chief Inspector Steve Wilson, head of roads policing in Derbyshire, said: "This time of year is one of celebration for many, including work parties and especially with family and friends.

"Our message is simple - if you are having a drink, don't drive.

"Our campaign is very much intelligence-led and by working with Crimestoppers it will allow us to target those who persistently drink and drive rather than conducting mass-testing.

"I would urge anyone with information about a drink-driver to contact police or Crimestoppers and we will act on it wherever possible."

In the West Midlands area, the Central Motorway Police Group is also taking part in the police-led campaign.

Inspector Greg Jennings, of West Midlands Police, said: "Every year it is the same story - people seem to think that it is acceptable to have a few with their family or friends and then get behind the wheel.

"In some cases they would not dream of drink-driving, or taking drugs, at other times of the year but they lose their common sense as Christmas draws near.

"So now, via the charity Crimestoppers, we are asking anyone who is aware of people breaking the law to pick up the phone and report selfish individuals who think it's OK to drink or take drugs and drive."

Mr Jennings added: "The information people pass on to us will directly influence our patrols and could well prevent a family experiencing tragedy this Christmas, as well as leading to people being brought before the courts.

"Nationally we saw a 25% increase in drink-related deaths last year and the festive period is always the most significant time for such offences being committed."

A spokesman for Crimestoppers, which accepts information via an anonymous hotline, said: "The drink-drive campaigns being run by various forces are being led by the police and are not Crimestoppers campaigns.

"While Crimestoppers supports these campaigns and does offer rewards of up to £1,000 for information passed to the charity that leads to an arrest and charge, we would always advise people to contact the police in the case of an emergency.

"If you know of someone who is driving under the influence at the time of your call, always contact the police due to the danger that driver is creating.

"If, however, your call is not an emergency and you wish to pass on information about an offender, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on our 0800 555 111 number, safe in the knowledge that no-one will ever know you spoke to us."

West Midlands Police said it will also name every motorist charged with drink or drug-driving as part of its clampdown.

In a first for the force, every person due before the courts charged with driving under the influence of drink or drugs, or failing to supply a breath specimen, will be named on its website and Twitter feed.

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