Scarborough's shocking tally of drivers on drink or drugs
The number of drivers in Scarborough being arrested for drug driving has increased by more than 1,000 per cent since 2013, figures show.
The alarming statistics obtained by The Scarborough News show the town is the county’s drug driving hotspot with 152 motorists arrested by North Yorkshire Police this year, more than double that of York.
This figure has increased rapidly from only 12 arrests in 2013 to 17 in 2014 and 37 last year.
This year’s total in Scarborough made up 34 per cent of all incidents across North Yorkshire.
This coincides with a 22 per cent increase in drink driving arrests in Scarborough with 103 incidents in 2013 compared to 126 this year.However this figure is down from last year’s 131 arrests.
Sgt Andy Morton of the Roads Policing Group and lead for Op Attention said: “It is both frustrating and disappointing to see a number of drivers choosing not to heed our warning and act irresponsibly, putting themselves and other road users at risk.
“Scarborough is home to the region’s third largest population and attracts a large number of day visitors and longer term holiday makers, who travel by road to enjoy all the town has to offer.
“This is why our officers remain committed to ensuring that the roads in and around the town remain safe for both residents and visitors to use, by targeting and prosecuting those who choose to flout the law.”
The majority of North Yorkshire has seen an increase in drug driving related offences with Whitby, Malton and Filey all having no recorded arrests in 2013, yet now that has increased to 19, 22 and six respectively in 2016.
As a whole the county has seen a 709 per cent increase in arrests relating to drug driving from 2013, a rise from 55 to an astonishing 445.
Drivers were arrested for drug driving almost 40 per cent of the time in North Yorkshire this year due to having a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit.
New drug driving legislation and DrugWipe testing kits were introduced in March 2015 allowing police to test motorists for substances in less than 10 minutes by using only a swab taken from inside a driver’s cheek.
Sgt Morton said: “North Yorkshire Police now has more officers than ever, who have undergone specialist training to enable them to identify the tell-tale signs of drug taking.
“The tests are quick and straight forward and allow an officer to determine whether a drug is present in a individuals system in under ten minutes. Since then have seen a significant increase in the number of drug driving arrests being made.”
Malton also saw an increase of 19 per cent in drink driving related offences from 2013 with 31 offences this year.
Filey was in line with the county-wide figures with a decrease in arrests of seven per cent from 2013 while dropping 19 per cent from last year.
Whitby also saw a decrease of three per cent in drink driving offences with only 29 arrests made this year.
The majority of the drink drive arrests were for being over the alcohol limit while being behind the wheel.
Scarborough also has the second largest number of arrests for drivers or person in charge of a vehicle failing to provide specimen.
The figure has grown from three arrests in 2013 and 2014 to 10 this year and can only be surpassed by York.
Whitby has seen two arrests for failure to provide specimen in 2016 while Malton saw two and one in Filey.
North Yorkshire Police charged 79 per cent of those arrested for drink driving, drug driving or fail to provide in 2013. This figure has remained similar with 76 per cent of charges in 2014 and 77 per cent in 2015. However the percentage of charges has declined in 2016 with only 69 per cent of those arrested being charged for their offence.
These figures are based until the start of December when North Yorkshire Police launched their drink and drug driving campaign, reminding drivers of the consequences of getting behind the wheel while under the influence.
It has been revealed that 60 arrests have been made in the opening 15 days of the campaign - 44 were for drink driving and 16 for drug driving.
Scarborough has accounted for the biggest amount of those arrests with nine for drink driving and nine further for drug driving.
And Sgt Morton is hoping motorists can take note and think twice before driving while under the influence.
He said: “We issue a clear warning that we will be patrolling our roads looking for drink and drug drivers and that on arrest, they will face serious consequences.
“If you know of someone who is driving under the influence of drink or drugs – please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Making that call could save someone’s life.”