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Commissioner gives £20k boost to road victims charity

Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has today given a £20,000 boost to the families of victims and witnesses of fatal road collisions.

Sir Graham Bright has awarded the grant to the Road Victims Trust in recognition of the work the charitable body undertakes in support of families of those killed in collisions in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

The grant is linked to Sir Graham’s Police and Crime Plan, part of which commits the Constabulary to use a careful mix of enforcement, education, engagement and technology to keep people safe on our roads. The ultimate aim is to reduce the number of those killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads.

Sir Graham said: “I am committed to tackling issues of road safety and will do all I can to improve the safety of Cambridgeshire’s roads for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. I want to see a reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“Sadly, the Trust’s services are called upon all too often, when all policing and partnership interventions have ultimately failed. This money is in recognition of the excellent work the Trust continues to do across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. I highly value the work the Road Victims Trust continues to do in supporting families through the trauma of sudden loss.”

Chief Executive of the Road Victims Trust Mark Turner said: “Our staff and volunteers can provide invaluable emotional and practical support to the families torn apart by the impact of fatal road traffic collisions. This funding enables us to continue providing this unique service in Cambridgeshire.”

The Trust’s services are free and provide comprehensive support to meet the specific practical and emotional needs of those affected by the impact of the sudden and violent circumstance of a road death and the ensuing legal and coronial procedures. The support is provided by specialist trained local volunteers for as long as it is useful.

The service includes:

  • One to one emotional and practical support for as long as is useful to victims. This could be short term ad hoc support, for example by telephone, but the majority of the work is the provision of longer term weekly home based support
  • Information and practical support regarding, for example, burial grants and benefits, and guidance through legal processes such as police investigations and Inquests
  • Legal advice and guidance (particularly concerning Inquests) provided through a network of approved local solicitors who undertake pro bono work

In 2013/14 the Trust received 96 referrals (the vast majority direct from the police) which led to them making contact with 281 individuals or families across the three counties to offer its services.

The £20,000 Crime and Disorder Reduction grant awarded by the Commissioner covers six months from October 2014 to March 2015. Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioners have also provided funding to this charity.

More information about the Road Victims Trust can be found here