Luke Pollard MP Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
On Monday, Luke spoke in a parliamentary debate about whether the police should have greater powers to suspend driving licences over instances of drink and drug driving. The debate was tabled following a petition organised by the family of Tom McConnachie, who tragically died following a hit-and-run incident involving a drunk driver in Plymouth in 2019.
“We remember Tom in this debate. He is remembered not only by the family but by the 100,000 people who signed the petition, including the 1,162 people who signed the petition from Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport.
“I also pay tribute to Christina, Tom’s fiancée, and Charlotte, Tom’s mum, for the way they have run this campaign. They have spoken with dignity, compassion and clarity about what changes they would like to see”.
Luke also raised his concerns about Release Under Investigation (RUI), which he said prolongs the process of delivering justice and closure for grieving families and, in contrast to bail, also lacks the sufficient legal constraints on the behaviour of individuals under investigation.
In addition, Luke noted that he welcomes the increase in the tariff in the sentencing for those people who kill via drink-driving from 14 years to life. However, he highlighted that this did not apply in Tom’s case, and said it is entirely legitimate for any family who have been robbed of the life of their loved one to look at the sentence afforded and say, “Three months and three weeks is not justice.”
Luke also said that, if steps are to be taken, they must be accompanied by proper resources. He added that, if we give extra responsibilities to the police or the courts system without adequately resourcing them, justice could be further delayed.