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Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe and Warwickshire Police have welcomed new Government funding to boost the support that can be given to road crash victims.
The Department for Transport has provided road safety charity Brake with £169,685 to support the delivery of the National Road Victim Service (NRVS) in 2020/21.
As well as providing an invaluable service by helping bereaved and injured victims to deal with complex emotional, practical and procedural issues, it has been estimated that the National Road Victim Service (NRVS) provides an annual saving to the police of £2.2m, through time saved caring for road crash victims.
The service also provides significant savings to other key statutory services, such as health and social care, through reducing the likelihood, or severity, of supported victims developing long-term mental or physical illness.
Commenting on the award, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “During a time when we need to reduce the burden on the emergency services, particularly the NHS, this news is extremely welcome. Road safety continues to be a priority in Warwickshire and helping families who suffer bereavement or those injured in collisions on our roads is something I have been keen to see enhanced, so this further national support for Brake is very welcome.”
The NRVS offers a lifeline to road crash victims with early intervention and lasting, specialist support, through a confidential, quality, accredited helpline and information service delivered in partnership with all police forces. All police refer into the service through the delivery of a comprehensive pack of Brake support information to victims within 24 hours of a crash involving death.
Inspector Jem Mountford from Warwickshire Police said: “Brake’s helpline provides an invaluable service to victims by complementing the service provided by our family liaison officers and by increasing and broadening the support given. As well as easing demand on the police and NHS and other services, the helpline provides injured victims and bereaved families with expert advice and support.”
In 2018, 35 people were killed on Warwickshire’s roads and 325 people were seriously injured and Warwickshire Police and partners are working to reduce these numbers.
PCC Seccombe added: “Here in Warwickshire, I’ve already provided more than £70,000 to Brake from my own Road Safety Fund to ensure the county is at the forefront in this type of support for victims and their families. As well as making our own contribution to the national helpline, it funds the work of an Independent Road Bereavement Advocate. It means that Warwickshire is one of the few areas of the country to provide dedicated, one-to-one, specialist support at a local level for the families of road death victims, to help them cope and recover from the devastating effects of the loss of a loved one.”
The National Road Victim Service helpline for road crash victims is open as usual on 0808 8000 401. The service is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, to give practical and emotional support to anyone affected by road death and serious injury.