Volunteers are being sought to visit police cells to provide
public reassurance about the treatment of detainees in police custody.
Dad who lost two children in horror crash pleads with people of Devon & Cornwall not to drink drive
A father who lost two children and one of his best friends when a drunk driver ploughed into their car on the A38 has given an emotional plea to the people of Devon and Cornwall ahead of Christmas.
Steve Kimberley’s eldest son Matthew, 12, and daughter Lucy, 10, died after a Range Rover driven by a drunk man careered into them as they drove home from a football match in Plymouth.
Family friend Ben Jewell, 19, also died as a result of the collision, along with the driver of the Range Rover who was killed on impact.
Steve, who was left badly injured and confined to a wheelchair after the crash, wants people to know that drink driving is “not OK” and can have horrendous consequences.
Ahead of the Christmas party season, which traditionally sees a spike in drink driving incidents, Steve has recorded an emotional video for the Vision Zero South West Road Safety partnership recounting the crash, of which this year is the 25th anniversary.
Steve, who lives near Falmouth, said: “It was the 24th of July, 1996. I’d taken Matthew and Lucy, along with my good friend Ben Jewell, for a treat at the end of the school year to see Chelsea vs Plymouth Argyle in a pre-season friendly. It was a big occasion.
“After the game we headed back to the car and started our journey home. We got out of Plymouth and got down to Notter Bridge and as we came around the bend to the left and were hit at high speed by a drink driver who was driving a Range Rover.
“It hit us with such speed his car left the ground and landed the other way on the road. I remember the impact and at first there was this silence which is probably only seconds, but seems to go on for a long time while you’re trying to assess what’s happened to you.
“After those few seconds all hell broke loose - the sound of metal, breaking glass and hissing and the smell of diesel. It must have been awful for those who saw it and the emergency services who attended.
“It was carnage, absolute carnage. The driver hit us so hard that when the police arrived they couldn’t identify what type of car we had been driving.
“Ben was sitting in the front and hit the dashboard and was critically injured. Lucy was sitting behind me and was conscious at first. Matthew didn’t fare so well.”
Paramedics were soon on the scene and extracted Matthew from the car first.
Steve said: “They did CPR on the roadside, but it was too late for Matthew.
“They got Lucy out and took her to the ambulance, but all the time I couldn’t see any of this as I was trapped and unable to turn around.
“A coach driver called Gary, who had been driving a load of Argyle fans home, got out and was with me and kept talking to me saying ‘stay with us buddy, don’t go to sleep’.
“They had to cut me and Ben out of the car. They wrapped me in something like a lead blanket to protect me from the broken glass and metal. It took a long time and there was so much going on.”
Steve was transported to Derriford Hospital with a broken collar bone, damage to his sternum and severe leg and hand injuries. He remembers being in intensive care when the news was broken to him about Matthew and Lucy.
He said: “I honestly can’t remember who it was who told me – it might have been a doctor, but it might have been my wife or my father-in-law. They just said ‘the kids are gone’.
“I thought it was a bad dream. I knew they were hurt but I had this feeling that they were going to be alright. I remember saying to someone ‘this isn’t fair, how is this fair?’.
“It just didn’t seem real, it felt like I was in someone else’s body.
“The following week Ben’s parents had to take the decision to switch his life support machine off. I can’t imagine what that must have been like for them. He was their only son.”
Steve remembers visiting his children in a wheelchair at the chapel of rest at the hospital.
He said: “There’s something very sobering about seeing your children, covered in a white sheet, both in coffins. I remember thinking ‘that’s them, but it’s not them’ because you expect them to just run through the door.
“That was the last time I saw my children. Nobody wants to outlive their kids.
“I’d have willingly given my own life to save one, two or all three of those smashing young people who had their whole lives ahead of them, but unfortunately you’re not given that opportunity. They were taken away from us, and it’s not fair.
“Going to both your childrens’ funerals at the same time in your local church is something you should never had to do. Following a hearse to the crematorium in Truro with your kids in coffins ahead of you, seeing that curtain go across and knowing you are never going to see them again – I want people to know that it is not OK to drink and drive.
“If that driver hadn’t drunk any alcohol, my kids would still be here – I’d have grandkids. My youngest son would be an uncle. Matthew and Lucy would be coming round to us for Christmas and I’d be bouncing grandchildren on my knee – but that hasn’t happened.”
On the anniversary on the collision, Steve takes to Facebook to post pictures of Matthew and Lucy and tell their story, with the hope of preventing anyone who might be thinking about driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.
He said: “I know there are people out there who have seen my posts on Facebook and said they think very carefully about what they do now. I will continue to do those posts until the day I die because people need to know it is not OK.
“It’s quite simple, if you know you’re going out for a night, you can do a number of things.
“You could have a designated driver who you provide with free coffees and soft drinks for the night. If you can afford to drink, you can afford a taxi or an Uber or a minicab.
“If you’re not too bad, you can walk home safely. Or just don’t drink, because not having a drink won’t kill you.”
Steve also believes friends, bystanders and landlords have a major role to play in preventing incidents of drink driving.
He said: “If you’re in a group of people and someone is drinking and you know they are thinking of driving, you have a responsibility to do one of several things. Take their keys away, walk them home, call them a cab.
“Never get in a car with a driver if you know they’ve been drinking, you are putting yourself in danger. Park your car in front of theirs so they can’t get out.
“If you’re a publican and you know someone has driven to your pub, you have a responsibility to yourself, that person, their family and anyone else. Take their keys, call them a cab. It’s all about taking responsibility.
“Also, be aware – if you’ve had a drink of an evening, you could well be over the limit the following day.”
Cornwall Police launched its Lift Legend Christmas drink drive campaign this
month, with over 110 licenced premises set to offer soft drinks to those who
give free lifts home to friends and family after a night out.
The initiative runs from Wednesday 1 December 2021 to Saturday 1 January 2022 and is a modern approach to the annual Christmas campaign.
On the purchase of their first soft drink, drivers will be able to receive a voucher to have their second free of charge at participating venues.
Adrian Leisk of the roads policing team said: “It is vital we do all we can to
ensure anyone on a night out is able to get home safely. Our new initiative
aims to encourage those heading out for the night to plan who is going to be
their Lift Legend.
“Despite long-term reductions, drink and drug driving still accounts for 15 per cent of road deaths and almost 10,000 casualties nationally each year.
“During last year’s Christmas campaign, officers in Devon and Cornwall carried out 1,348 breath tests and charged 163 people with a drink drive-related offence.
“Alongside the Lift Legend education campaign, officers will be out in force rigorously targeting those who are a danger on our roads, day or night.
“It is also important to remember that you shouldn’t seek out lifts from those you don’t know or who aren’t licenced such as through social media networks. Only get into a vehicle with someone you know and trust.
“Alcohol and drugs impair many of the functions necessary for safe driving; reaction times and spatial awareness are affected significantly. This may still be the case the morning after, depending on how much alcohol is consumed the night before and when you stopped drinking.
“If police think you are unfit to drive through consumption of alcohol, even if your breath test registers lower than the prescribed limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, you can still be arrested and may be charged with an offence. In short, you do not have to be drunk to be a drink driver. Don’t risk it.
“It’s not just you that’s at risk. You could kill or seriously injure another person. Drink driving destroys people’s lives and those of their families. Avoiding this happening is as simple as planning ahead, leaving the car at home, and using a taxi, public transport or designated driver to get home.”
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is chairman of the Vision Zero South West board as well as the national APCC lead for road safety.
Commissioner Hernandez said: “Drink driving is completely unacceptable – it puts the driver, passengers and innocent members of the public at substantial risk. Those found guilty of this crime face losing their license and even going to prison, which could cost you your job and livelihood.
“This doesn’t just apply to people who are on a big night out, those driving the morning after a few drinks could also unexpectedly be over the limit and unfit to drive.
“The good news is there have never been more alternatives to drinking and driving. Jump in a taxi, Uber, bus, train or call a friend or relative for a lift. There’s also a huge variety of great-tasting, non-alcoholic drinks available so why not ditch the booze and be a Lift Legend for the night?
“Please don’t make this Christmas a time to remember for all the wrong reasons.”
If you have information about anyone who has been drinking or taken drugs and is about to drive, you should call police on 999 with the make and model of the vehicle, registration number and direction of travel.
For more information about the Lift Legend scheme visithttps://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/liftlegend
What is Vision Zero South West?
Vision Zero is a shared commitment between a number of organisations across Devon and Cornwall. The one thing they all share is a commitment to cut the number of deaths and serious injuries in the region to zero.
Vision Zero is led by a partnership board which includes a wide range of experts from all around the South West including senior police and fire officers, leading clinicians, councillors and the police and crime commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Vision Zero’s partners include:
· Cornwall Council
· Devon County Council
· Plymouth City Council
· Torbay Council
· Exeter City Council
· Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service
· Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
· Devon and Cornwall Police
· Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
· National Highways
· NHS University Hospitals Plymouth Trust
· Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
· South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
· Cornwall Air Ambulance
· Devon Air Ambulance
· Driving for Better Business
· Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS)
For more information about this press release, or about Vision Zero South West, please contact Joel Cooper firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's a link to the footage :https://youtu.be/G1YSU_hieR4
My aim is to make it even safer, underpinned by the Chief Constable’s vision for a world class sustainable police force.
We already have many excellent examples of work with other agencies that help make the peninsula a low crime area, but we have more to do.
You tell me that you want to see more visible police officers in your community, you want to see more action to tackle drug offences and antisocial behaviour, and you want us to make our roads safer. I will prioritise our efforts on them, incorporating the professional judgement of the police and community safety partners, as well as ensuring we meet our national policing commitments.
In 2016, I first set out my vision for Safe, Resilient, Connected communities. This Police and Crime Plan continues that journey. It is focused on the principles of prevention, partnerships and influence in order to deliver the objectives that you have told me matter to you and your community.
In this Police and Crime Plan I set out my policing and crime objectives covering my current term of office that will drive how I hold the Chief Constable to account on your behalf. It has never been more important as we recover from the challenges of the pandemic and the long-term impacts on our community to place public safety, community confidence and regeneration at the heart of our plans to protect our communities’ future.
At the time of writing this there is a Government review of police and crime commissioners under way.
The result may give us more powers and responsibilities across the criminal justice system.
I await the results and will use this plan to inform any response to it so that my efforts are focused on what matters to you.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the emergency services and those working across the criminal justice system for all they do to keep people safe, and to the public for their continued support for community safety.
Police and Crime Commissioner
The attached document -A Guide to Recognising, Recording and Reporting Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)- published by the Neighbourhood Watch Network may be of use and interest to you and your local communities.
Please remember that if any matter being reported requires an immediate police response, then dial 999.
If the matter does not require an immediate police response and the 101 phone line is busy, please feel free to email 101 with the full details of the incident - email@example.com
Devon and Cornwall Police’s 101 waiting times can be found here -Contact us | Devon and Cornwall Police (devon-cornwall.police.uk)– On this page you will also see other ways to contact the police.
Feel free to share all of this information.
Community Engagement Worker
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
Police and partners
work together to prevent livestock theft
The Police and Crime
Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is urging residents
of the force area to take a few minutes to let police know where and why they
Statement following sentencing of former
Metropolitan Police Officer Wayne Couzens
Thoughts with family and loved-ones of Sarah Everard
Devon & Cornwall Police is reassuring its communities following the sentencing of former police officer Wayne Couzens for the murder of Sarah Everard.
The Force recognises confidence in policing, particularly from women and girls, has been rocked by this tragedy and the actions of Wayne Couzens.
But Devon & Cornwall is committed to building upon the trust and respect we already have with our communities to ensure all, particularly women, children and the most vulnerable, feel safe and are safe in our counties.
Deputy Chief Constable Jim Colwell said: “Following events in London, the sentencing of Sarah Everard's murderer cannot remove the pain and suffering of her family or loved ones. Our thoughts are firstly with them.
"We know confidence in policing, particularly from women and girls has been significantly impacted by this tragedy and the thought that a serving officer abused his position and turned against everything we are here to do is sickening. Wayne Couzens has betrayed everything we stand for.
"We must and will continue to work harder with every part of the justice system and the communities we serve to rebuild trust and make our streets as safe as possible for women and girls.
“The actions of Wayne Couzens were a terrible abuse of power and do not represent policing. Police officers and staff who want to protect the public are as shocked and angered by this man’s crimes as much as all of our communities will be.”
Communities should be reassured that police officer’s will always look to verify their identity when engaging with member of the public.
Deputy Chief Constable Colwell added: “We understand how concerning the actions of Couzens were and the desire to know how to verify an officers’ identity.
“Police officers always carry identification and can always be asked for verification. They are used to providing that reassurance.
“Police officers will not always be in uniform, but it would be extremely unusual for an officer in plain clothes to be working alone. If they are, they should be calling for assistance with other officers arriving very soon to support them to help you if you are in need.
“In light of the actions of Wayne Couzens it is right that police officers expect and are tolerant of those who wish to be further reassured. They will want to explain and reassure who they are, what they are doing and why – that must only expected and respected from our communities.”
If people feel they cannot verify an officer’s identity or feel in imminent danger you must seek assistance, if that means shouting out to another member of the public, flagging a car down or even dialling 999 then we would ask proportionate steps be taken.
Deputy Chief Constable Colwell said: “We and our communities must not forget we have come into policing to keep the public safe and we do it because we care about people.
“Policing locally and nationally will do everything it can, including being part of the wider discussion taking place in society today, so that women and girls feel safe on their own streets.”
Release date: 30/Sep/2021 17:19
The publicly accessible on-line version of this can be found here -News article | Devon and Cornwall Police (devon-cornwall.police.uk)
Community Engagement Worker
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
CrimeStoppers Rural Crime Campaign
Helping put a stop to Environmental Crime this month
Throughout August CrimeStoppers are running a Rural Crime Campaign and today marks the start of an exclusively focused week (11-17 August) on Environmental Crime, which seeks to increase the number of reports from the public to CrimeStoppers of criminal activities.
Why are we supporting the campaign?
We are supporting the CrimeStoppers Rural Crime Campaign as it seeks to raise public awareness of the horrendous issues caused by waste crime. They’re criminal actions that can affect us and our environment, they have such a negative impact upon the rural areas that have become even more special to us in these recent times.
We can only target those criminals through our Area & National Enforcement teams, if we have good information, which we can turn in effective intelligence/evidence. By being a part of the campaign we hope to increase the reporting of waste crime that may be taking place in local communities.
Having the CrimeStoppers charity available to the public allows them to anonymously report environmental crime to us, without out fear of reprisals.
So what do we mean by ‘waste crime’
• Large scale dumping of waste
• Illegal waste sites
• Illegal waste exports
• Misdescription of waste, to evade tax
• Illegal burning of waste
You can watch this short CrimeStoppers video entitled One Gang, many rural crimes which highlights that criminals operating in rural areas may be involved with a variety of offences such as drugs, violence and modern day slavery for example.
Who is involved in the campaign?
The campaign is supported by a number of partners that we work with on a regular basis including the Police, NFU, RSPCA, Countryside Alliance, CLA, Angling Trust, NWCU and FireStoppers.
Look out for our daily EA environmental crime blogs
From today, we will be publishing a daily environmental crime blog on the CrimeStoppers website in support covering a variety of topics including Exports, Rural Waste Officer, Enforcement Team, Intelligence & Partnerships, Misdescription and Joint Unit for Waste Crime.
The seventh and final blog on Tuesday 17 August will feature Malcolm Lythgo, Head of Waste Regulation, where he will discuss Regulatory Reform.
Speaking about waste crime Malcolm said: “Waste crime affects all of us, costing the UK economy £1 billion a year. Often those in rural communities witness persistent incidents of fly tipping and illegal dumping where roads are quieter and CCTV is lacking. The Environment Agency is committed to reducing waste crime and stopping criminals operating in the waste sector. Reform of how we regulate the waste sector is coming, and we aim to cut off the supply of waste to illegal operators in the first place, digitally tracking waste from creation to final disposal.”
How can you help with the campaign?
The CrimeStoppers charity use the branding of ‘Speak Up. Stay Safe’ and ‘100% anonymous. Always’ and it’s this message that we want to amplify to the public.
If you have a Twitter account please re-tweet the national EA messages that will be published this week in support of the campaign.
With your help we will be able to get the message out to the public that we need their information to help us target the waste criminals, which in turn will help the environment and help us to create a better place.
Download the full report below.