OUT IN THE FIELD: Name and shame drink drivers

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I realised a long time ago that – up there with bankers and parking wardens – us journalists are not the most popular fairies in the forest on the list of the UK’s most disliked occupations. Probably even more so now that Sussex Police is asking us to name and shame those motorists charged with drink or drug driving offences throughout December as part of a continued crackdown on offenders. Like it or not, the names of ne’er-do-wells and details of their misdemeanours going in the paper has for many years been an unofficial part of the punishment. Yes, it’s not nice and it’s embarrassing. But before those drink/drug drivers who don’t think the laws of the land apply to them start moaning about the fact their names are splashed all over the papers, they should stop and think. Drink driving wrecks lives. As the old saying goes, if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

In this bonkers world we live in, it’s good to see common sense prevailing at least twice in recent weeks. The first was the decision by the Crown Prosecution Service that no criminal offence had occurred after the portrayal of former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond as an effigy at the 2014 Lewes bonfire event. Effigies have long been a tradition in bonfire society processions and bonfire enthusiasts were just doing what they’re good at – having some harmless fun. The second round of applause goes to councillors on Eastbourne’s planning committee who put party politics aside on Tuesday night and listened to what the vast majority of residents wanted and approved Aldi’s plans to knock down a derelict building, which has been empty for more than five years, and build in its place a store in Hampden Park.

As someone who started writing stories on an old Olivetti typewriter, I struggle with new technology but am pleased to report I’m finally mastering Twitter so for all the latest news check us out there: @Eastbournenews and like Eastbourne Herald and Gazette on Facebook.