The number of arrests during a police operation over Christmas has more than doubled in comparison to the previous year.

Operation Holly ran for one month between the start of December and the 1st of January and was a joint road policing unit campaign over Christmas.

The operation is aimed at targeting persistent offenders and drink and drug drivers.

According to Hampshire Constabulary, within those four weeks, 29 people on the Isle of Wight were caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in their system.

That figure is more than double the previous year when 14 people were caught.

Across Hampshire, Operation Holly led to 254 arrests – that’s gone up by more than twelve and a half percent compared with last year.

It was run through patrols, covert operations and intelligence-led policing.

Roads Policing Joint Operations Unit for Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary, Sergeant Rob Heard, says:

“Our commitment to roads policing is unwavering towards preventing the distress and misery caused by driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

“The lives of individuals and their families can be torn apart through a combination of physical, psychological and legal consequences.”

He added how information passed on made a real difference:

“As in previous campaigns, we were greatly assisted by members of the public who passed us vital information and helped us take these drivers off the roads. Drink and drug-driving kills or injures people.

“Our message is simple – don’t mix drink or drugs with driving – it’s not worth the risk.”