The names and photographs of convicted drink and drug drivers will be published by North Yorkshire Police this Christmas.
Officers are doing it to raise awareness of the consequences of the crimes, deter people from drink or drug driving and show the concerted efforts the police are making to keep North Yorkshire’s roads safe for all.
The force will be sharing details of a range of court cases on social media and with the press.
Like other forces, national guidelines encourage North Yorkshire Police to proactively publicise court results and identify offenders.
Sergeant Andy Morton, who has brought dozens of drink and drug drivers to justice in the course of his career, said: “We understand that most convicted offenders would prefer us not to publish their custody photograph, name, age and the details of their driving offences.
“People’s friends, family and employers will see these details in the news and on Facebook.
“And people really dislike drink and drug drivers. The stigma that quite rightly surrounds it means they are likely to be shocked at the selfishness of those who have committed these offences, which may make perpetrators feel embarrassed.
“But that’s nothing compared to the utter devastation that drink and drug driving can cause to the lives of innocent people. If you saw what I see, you’d never, ever drink and drive.
“So we’re urging people to consider the full range of consequences before getting behind the wheel intoxicated this Christmas.”
He added: “We’re being upfront and transparent about what could happen to you if you’re convicted. If you don’t drive while under the influence, your details will not be published. It’s that simple.”
A number of other forces across the UK have pledged to take a similar approach to publicising offences as part of their 2018 Christmas campaigns.
The information and custody photos can be published without the offender’s consent because they are legally defined as being of ‘public interest’.
High-level lawmakers such as the Attorney General encourage court cases to be publicised, as this ensures the crime and justice process is transparent. They have made laws that allow this to happen, saying that ‘justice must be seen to be done’.
More than 20 motorists were arrested in the first week of North Yorkshire Police’s Christmas drink and drug driving campaign. Some have already been bailed to appear at court, where they face driving bans, large fines and the possibility of jail sentences.
Throughout December, police will be out in force, carrying out stop checks at all times of the day and night, including early mornings to detect those who are still over the limit from the night before. They will also be targeting known offenders and key locations throughout the county.
The campaign is organised by 95 Alive, the York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership comprising, North Yorkshire County Council, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, North Yorkshire Police , City of York Council, District Councils and Community Safety.
If you see someone about to drink drive notify police immediately by dialling 999. If you have information about someone who you believe regularly drives after consuming alcohol or drugs, please call North Yorkshire Police on 101 or alternatively Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 to pass this information on to officers.