Purple ribbons will highlight drink-drive campaign

A PURPLE ribbon, worn in memory of a schoolgirl, will be part of the annual drink and drug driving campaign in Hampshire.

The colour of the ribbons was the favourite of Evey Staley, a 10-year-old girl who died on the Isle of Wight in August last year, when her family’s car was hit by a driver two-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit.

Robert Blakely, 31, from Sandown, was jailed for 10 years after admitting causing death by driving without due care while under the influence of alcohol.

Hampshire police officers will hand out the ribbons to people they speak to during the campaign, which began last Friday and will run to January 1.

The Staley family vehicle will be displayed at towns across Hampshire, manned by police officers, and personnel from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and South Central Ambulance Service.

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

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

The campaign will be carried out jointly with Thames Valley Police.

Last year, seven people were killed and 61 seriously injured across the two force areas where alcohol was a factor. So far this year, six people have died and 32 have been seriously injured.

Simon Hayes, police and crime commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, praised the forces for putting together what he called a “hard-hitting” campaign.

He said: “The message from them is very clear – if you’re going to drink alcohol or take mind alerting substances, don’t drive as the risks of getting caught at this time of the year are far greater than at any other time.”

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