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Wrecked car from fatal crash prop in Christmas drink and drug driving campaign

Hampshire Constabulary is using a car from a crash which killed a 10-year-old girl to deter others from drinking and driving this Christmas

The family car of the Staley family

The wrecked car in which a 10-year-old lost her life after a crash involving a drink-and-drug driver will be displayed in Fleet as Hampshire Constabulary aims to make this year’s Christmas campaign more hard hitting than ever.

Evey Staley died in August 2012 after the car in which she was a passenger was hit as it pulled out of a driveway in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, by a vehicle driven by 32-year-old Robert Blakeley, from Sandown, who had been drinking and smoking cannabis.

Blakeley was jailed for 10 years and disqualified from driving for 10 years in April.

The Staley’s car will be displayed, at a location to be confirmed, in Fleet on December 19.

At the launch of the Is It Worth The Risk? campaign on November 29, it was announced purple ribbons will be worn in memory of victims of drink and drug-driving by police officers in the county during the campaign, which runs until January 1. Purple was Evey’s favourite colour.

A joint initiative with Thames Valley Police, it is hoped the ribbons will act as a reminder of the tragic consequences of getting behind the wheel after a drink this Christmas.

The two forces will be conducting more cross-border operations than ever with the aim of reducing the number of alcohol and drug-related incidents on our roads.

After the success of last year’s campaign, members of the public will again be urged to report drink-drivers by texting an anonymous service at 80999.

Inspector Andy Storey, leading the campaign in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said: “People know our message. Everyone knows not to drink and drive, and yet still people do it.

“We want to make it socially unacceptable – that is why we are focusing on the ultimate consequence. The bottom line is people die as a result of drinking and driving. Just one death is too many.

“Our message is don’t drink and drive, full stop. But, for those that choose to risk it, we are pouring extra resources into policing our roads this Christmas. We will be looking out for you, we will arrest you and you will lose your licence.”

On the use of the wrecked car, he added: “You will see first-hand the unending damage drinking and driving causes and the consequences for all those involved, including those who respond to such terrible incidents. It is those untold consequences we want to bring home to people, to show the devastation this causes.”

Across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Thames Valley last year, seven people were killed and 61 seriously injured in road incidents where alcohol was a factor.

Between January and August this year, six people were killed and 32 seriously injured in the same circumstances. Between January and September, 15,508 people have been breathalysed and 1,569 caught drink-driving – down 5% from 1,656 in the same period last year.

Members of Hampshire’s roads policing unit, supported by officers from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and the South Central Ambulance Service, will staff the crashed car display.

Videos supporting the campaign will be released daily by Hampshire Constabulary next week.

The Is It Worth The risk? campaign is also supported by Hampshire County Council, the Isle of Wight Road Safety Partnership, Southampton City Council and other partner agencies.

The safer north Hampshire team will be handing out leaflets on the problems drinking excess alcohol causes – such as anti-social behaviour and alcohol poisoning – in Fleet’s Hart Shopping Centre on Friday December 13.

Last year, 3,859 adults and 29 people younger than 18 from Hart and Rushmoor were admitted to hospital for alcohol-related harm, excluding accident and emergency visits.

 

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