A new support service for the victims and families of road crashes has been launched by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire (OPCC).
Voice: RoadHarm, which will be delivered by ASSIST Trauma Care, will give victims and their loved ones access to support services including specialist face-to-face therapy by trained trauma care professionals and a telephone helpline providing emotional and practical support.
Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds said the new service would provide much better support for a group of people who can get “left behind” during the criminal justice or inquest process.
He said: “Putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system has been one of my main aims since being voted in to office and I’m delighted that we can offer further specialist support to victims with the launch of Voice: RoadHarm.
“With the creation of the Voice service we have significantly improved the support we are able to offer victims, witnesses and those affected by crime, and Voice: RoadHarm is another strand to this that will see people receive a better standard of care when they need it.
“Too often road victims have been ignored and this service aims to address this imbalance”
Linda Lee, chair of Voice, said families often needed support to deal with the aftermath of a criminal trial or inquest.
She said: “I have seen at first-hand the devastation caused to bereaved families and those who have suffered life-changing injuries as a result of road traffic accidents.
“The public, the criminal justice system and often victims themselves do not recognise that they can also be victims of crime – the term accident can be misleading.
“Families need help not only to come to terms with their loss and to deal with physical and mental injuries but also to assist them through any legal processes that follow. The launch of this service will offer that much needed support”
Anyone wishing to access Voice: RoadHarm can do so via the Voice website, www.voicenorthants.org, or by calling Voice on 0300 303 1965.