Migrant workers commit a third of drink-drive crime

Alex Ille and John Siddle with some of the new signs going up across the district.
Alex Ille and John Siddle with some of the new signs going up across the district.
Have your say

“SHOCKING” figures show 32 per cent of convicted drink-drivers in Lincolnshire are migrant workers predominantly from Spalding and Boston.

The worrying statistic was revealed by the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, which also said migrant workers only accounted for one per cent of motorists in the county.

The figures have prompted the group to launch a new drink-drive campaign targeting the Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian population.

John Siddle, from the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, said: “All this has come up through data analysis. When it was cross referenced by the number of people in the county it was passed to me and I was told it was quite shocking.

“When you put the figures together, out of all the drivers in the county I was told they should have only shown up as a small percentage.

“This is where all this came from and without having any tangible community leaders to go to, from the evidence that we saw we could see it was an issue.”

A total of 180 foreign national drivers were found guilty of drink-drive offences in 2010.

Those convicted were of Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian decent and live mainly in Spalding and Boston.

Mr Siddle said this latest campaign aims to educate these nationalities in relation to the drink-drive law in the United Kingdom.

Mr Siddle said: “We, as British, have spent a long time getting to where it’s socially unacceptable to drink-drive. We are in a better place now than 30 years ago.

“People recognise that but we are not sure whether that relates to foreign nationals and whether they feel the same about it.”

Mr Siddle said foreign nationals were one of the hardest groups to reach.

Yesterday, signs in all three languages were put up at the roadside along routes in Spalding and Boston.

Adverts will be placed on buses and leaflets will be left in shops, bars, pubs and workplaces frequented by migrants.

One story told in the leaflet describes how a foreign national, who was already disqualified from driving, ploughed into a white Ford Transit van after driving into incoming traffic on the A1.

The driver killed his cousin, who was travelling with him, and caused serious injuries to himself and those in the other van. He did not have insurance and was twice the legal drink-drive limit. It is unlikely he will ever drive again.

Mr Siddle added: “The number of collisions in the county that are drink-drive related have seen a slight drop over the last year.

“But more work needs to be done and we have to work very hard to do that. I would like to think people are getting the message but the statistics show some are and some aren’t.

“We would always advocate not to drink any alcohol when driving.”

Since April 2010, more than 17,000 people have been tested for drink driving and 1,163 people have been prosecuted.