Police to consult public on road death investigations
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has said the move will help shape police policy involving fatal road investigations.
The announcement comes weeks after figures revealed that road deaths and injuries in West Berkshire had soared again for the fourth consecutive year.
A consultation will focus on police standards when responding, reporting and investigating road traffic collisions, and will influence an agreed policy and guidance published by ACPO.
The ACPO lead for the investigation of fatal and life-changing road collisions across England and Wales, assistant chief constable Sean White, said the public could comment on how they would like to see police respond, investigate and report on road traffic collisions.
Bereaved family and friends who have had first-hand experience of police involvement will also be involved.
“Families quite rightly expect their police service to prevent and reduce these collisions from occurring and in the unexpected event that it impacts upon them they are entitled to the best service and support to aid them through such difficult time,” he said.
“We are committed to listening to their experiences and views as well as those of partner agencies, and to updating and amending our policy and practices to keep pace with and, where possible, exceed expectations.”
At the end of the review a draft, revised road death investigation strategy and guidance will be published that will aim to provide direction for the next five years.
Road safety charities have welcomed the announcement.
The deputy chief executive at Brake, Julie Townsend, said: “It is critical these families get the help they need, and that we learn from collisions to prevent further tragedies; police work liaising with victims and investigating crashes is fundamental to this.”
According to figures released by the Department for Transport the average number of people killed or seriously injured in West Berkshire was 77 in 2011, up from 60 in 2010, and the second highest total in the last six years following a record high of 105 in 2007.
Motorcycle casualties also increased again, with 17 percent more bikers injured in 2011 than the previous year.
The total number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads in England also rose last year for the first time since 2003.
Across Berkshire the number of people serious injured or killed shot up 30 per cent, with motorcyclists and cyclists again the major factor behind the rise.
The consultation is open until September 7, comments can be made by filling out a consultation form via the Cleveland police website
or by writing to ACC Sean White via Cleveland Police Headquarters, PO Box 70, Ladgate Lane, Middlesbrough, TS8 9EH.