“West Mercia police provided a high quality service to the next of kin following them suffering a bereavement through a road related death. Due to capacity there is an unavoidable limit to the time that can be spent with the wider family. This is also relevant to those affected by loved ones injured in serious collisions and those that are effected by witnessing serious and fatal collisions.
In 2021 West Mercia’s PCC through RoadPeace employed a victim care co-ordinator to expand and improve the service we provide. The co-ordinator works in partnership with the investigating officers and the family liaison officers seamlessly through referrals and visits to our operational bases. As a result of this people affected by this trauma have more contact and assistance provided to them. They now get a better service at a time of significant crisis. As a minimum they get someone to talk to who is not on the end of a radio being directed to the next job. The greatest impact of this is the extra time that can now be offered in terms of emotional support, practical advice and assistance that can be put in place.
As a result of our co-ordinator we now have a local support group in West Mercia for people suffering following fatal and serious injury collisions, where they can speak in person to others that have gone through a similar experience. Referrals are made to the resilience building program where trauma therapists assist families that have been bereaved. Specific guides have been produced for West Mercia families affected by fatal and serious collisions. There is now far more proactivity on behalf of West Mercia and RoadPeace in trying to provide the best after care that we can.
The comments received back from those that our co-ordinator assisted are all along the same lines that the support provided by her was fantastic and made a big difference to them. An example being …. All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart. The feedback I have received from my officers who work with Suzanne are that her role is invaluable and provides a really good service that they simply do not have the time to provide to everyone involved.
I would strongly recommend all forces understand and implement the role of a RoadPeace victim care co-ordinator for all the reasons described above. There is nothing more traumatic than losing a loved one”.
– Julian Smith, Chief Inspector of the Operational Policing Unit at West Mercia Police
Updated on: 9 March 2022