Upminster drink driver praises police for arresting him in ‘heartwarming’ letter

Metropolitan Police Commissoner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe

Metropolitan Police Commissoner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe - Credit: PA WIRE

A drink driver has written an incredible letter to police praising the officer who arrested him and helped turn his life around.

A drink driver wrote this letter to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe thanking the officer who arrested him

A drink driver wrote this letter to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe thanking the officer who arrested him - Credit: Archant

The unnamed man, 45, told Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe he had learned a “very valuable lesson” from Pc Martin Gillett, who had pulled him over in Upminster.

In the letter, sent last week, the humbled driver explained he was treated with “courtesy and respect” by police when taken to Romford station in September.

When told he was being charged, he reacted by shaking a “puzzled” Pc Gillett’s hand and thanking him for stopping him.

The letter reads: “Your officers do a fantastic job and I think he saved me from going down a path I was heading for, I have learnt a very valuable lesson and will never attempt to combine the two again, if I drink I won’t drive and if I drive I won’t drink.”

Pc Gillett, a traffic officer based at Chadwell Heath, said the “heartwarming” letter was rare but he had dealt with the driver the same as he would anyone else.

“Every officer likes to receive letters of thanks but this is an unusual one,” he said. “The fact this driver felt compelled to write to the commissioner is heart warming.

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“The chap had been arrested and was ultimately charged. So to receive thanks is very rare indeed.

“He was very compliant and humble from the start and gave me the impression he knew what he did was very, very wrong.”

The modest Pc Gillett added his colleagues would have dealt with the situation in the same way.

Leading road safety charity Brake praised traffic police for doing a “fantastic, life-saving job.”

Ed Morrow, campaigns officer, said: “Enforcement is more than just a blunt tool to punish drivers. As this letter shows, it is also a force for education, helping to ensure drivers who break the law know they have put lives in danger.

“This is a reminder we desperately need to reverse the drastic cuts of recent years and get more traffic police back on the roads.”

Are you the driver? Contact Sam on 020 8477 3810.