Crown Prosecution Service provides ‘poor’ service to bereaved families of road traffic accident victims16 February 2015
Report finds CPS has failed to appropriately handle the prosecution of offenders who cause road traffic deaths
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is providing a poor service to bereaved relatives of those killed by dangerous drivers, according to a report by two watchdogs.
The report from Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found the overall standard of communication between the CPS and bereaved families was judged as poor in 75 percent of cases.
David Robinson, a serious injury solicitor who specialises in road traffic collision claims from Thompsons Solicitors’ Newcastle office, said: “The findings of this report sadly come as no surprise. We have represented hundreds of families whose loved ones have been tragically killed in road traffic collisions, and in too many cases the prosecution procedure has actually caused more suffering to grieving relatives.
“In May 2011, Jake Thompson, a 27 year old man was killed in Bristol by a speeding lorry while on a pedestrian crossing. We supported Jake’s family with a civil claim for damages and campaigned alongside them for 18 months to force a police review so that a criminal prosecution could be pursued.
“Despite gathering compelling evidence during the second police investigation, a criminal prosecution against the HGV driver who killed Jake failed. The judge on the case ruled that the CPS had failed to prove a link between the drivers’ speed and the collision with Jake.”
“Today, we continue to campaign alongside Jake’s family for the improved investigation of deaths resulting from road traffic collisions, and for better road safety.
“Families, like Jake’s, face a very traumatic and difficult journey following the sudden loss of a loved one and should not have their distress exacerbated by poor investigations and a lack of communication by the CPS.
“We desperately need to see improvements in the way the CPS handles the prosecution of offenders who are found guilty of causing road traffic collision deaths. We sincerely hope that this report acts as a catalyst for change and that structures are put in place to ensure that no family is ever left feeling as utterly let down as the Thompson family.”
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