Bedfordshire PCC Kathryn Holloway is to invest £30,000 every year from speeding fines and road penalties to help those affected by the deaths of loved ones on the county’s roads.
She has pledged the money, each year from 2017, to the Bedford-based charity, Road Victims Trust (RVT), using income generated by Bedfordshire Police’s cameras, tickets and collisions unit.
“It seems absolutely logical to me that money from road offences should go directly to help those whose lives have been blighted by deaths in traffic accidents. That is what I promised in my Police and Crime Plan and that is exactly what is going to happen in future,” said Commissioner Holloway.
“The shock and trauma of losing someone you love from your life, out of the blue without warning, must be truly devastating and affects too many people in a county where road deaths have been rising in the last year, in contrast to other parts of the country, with 26 fatal crashes in 2015-16, according to the Trust, affecting whole families as well as partners, friends and colleagues,” she said.
In the meantime, the Commissioner has granted £30,000 to the Trust, throughout this year, to help with its work counselling victims of road deaths for as long as they feel they need the support.
The Road Victims Trust, based in Kempston, works with Bedfordshire Police to support those who have been bereaved by a road death.
It is informed of those directly affected by police and accompanies them to inquests and court cases, together with the offer of specialist trauma counselling.
The RVT is in its 21st year and has supported many hundreds of local people during this time, last year alone the RVT provided emotional and practical support to 164 Bedfordshire residents.
RVT Ambassador, 23-year-old Henry Wellbelove, whose younger brother Archie was killed on the road in 2012, said: “The Trust provided my family with unwavering and invaluable support at a time when it seemed to all that the inexorable sense of despair would take hold. We are all hugely appreciative of the support of Kathryn Holloway and Bedfordshire Police.”
For more information about the PCC’s victims funding, visit the funding section of the Bedfordshire PCC’s website.