Drink driving capital of the county

SHOCKING FIGURES: Superintendent Phil Vickers, policing commander for South Holland, Boston and East Lindsey.  Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police.
SHOCKING FIGURES: Superintendent Phil Vickers, policing commander for South Holland, Boston and East Lindsey. Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police.

More drivers from South Holland have been involved in crashes after drinking booze or using drugs than anywhere else in Lincolnshire, shocking new figures reveal.

Over the period 2012-2016, the number of people from South Holland who were either at the wheel or casualties in crashes was more than double the national average and over 15 per cent above the level for Lincolnshire’s other six districts.

We’re now seeing an increase in the number of younger drivers arrested for driving offences involving drink or drugs

Superintendent Phil Vickers, policing commander for South Holland, Boston and East Lindsey

The alarming figures were unveiled at the first-ever Lincolnshire Roads Summit in Grantham on Friday, hosted by Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones.

South Holland also came out worst for the number of 16-24-year-olds involved in crashes during the five-year period concerned, with one senior police officer highlighting alcohol and drugs as a common factor.

Superintendent Phil Vickers, policing commander for South Holland, Boston and East Lindsey, who was at the summit, said: “I am concerned by the number of younger drivers who are being arrested for drink/drug driving.

“For many years, it was the case that driving under the influence of either drink or drugs was seen as an older person’s offence and you got the feeling that younger drivers understood it was unacceptable.

“But we’re now seeing an increase in the number of younger drivers arrested for driving offences involving drink or drugs and the Road Safety Summit was a really positive experience for us as it highlighted some of the ways we can try to work innovatively in the future.”

The figures, prepared by Oxfordshire-based Road Safety Analysis Ltd, showed that between 2012 and 2016, more than 200 people from South Holland were involved in crashes that were drink or drug-related.

This compares with nearly 160 casualties from the Boston Borough area, less than 100 from South Kesteven (including Bourne and the Deepings) and the national average of 100.

Richard Owen, chief executive officer of Road Safety Analysis Ltd, said: “We used the home postcode of either casualties or drivers, instead of looking at the crash sites, using the seven districts of Lincolnshire.

“It was interesting that drivers from South Holland tend to be involved in collisions where they have been drinking or where someone is injured at a rate which is much higher than other districts in Lincolnshire.

“The numbers are significantly higher for South Holland which averages out at over 15 per cent more people who have not only been caught drink-driving, but who have had a crash that has injured another person.

“It’s quite worrying for an area with a comparatively small population that the injury rate for intoxicated drivers is more than double the national average and the figures for young drivers from South Holland comes out particularly high as well.”

For the period examined, 208 people from South Holland aged between 16 and 24 were involved in crashes, compared with 172 in Boston, 129 in South Kesteven and just 83 in Lincoln City.

Coun Nigel Pepper, Crowland county councillor and a former retained firefighter who was also at Friday’s summit, said: “I was invited to this event by the Police and Crime Commissioner which I duly attended.

“Whilst it’s important to note that all the casualty data is based on home postcodes, rather than the collision location, it’s most disappointing to learn that South Holland is home to the worst cases of intoxicated drivers and young adult road casualties in the whole of Lincolnshire.

“Also, our area came out second worst for speeding drivers which is not surprising to me as I hear this at all the parish council meetings I attend in my area.

“I trust that the police who were in attendance at the event on Friday will take note of these figures and distribute their resources accordingly.”

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