Published: 20 December 2012
Report: British Cycling
A British Cycling delegation met with justice minister Helen Grant to discuss a comprehensive review of the justice system when someone is hurt on the roads.
The meeting was a significant step forward in the campaign and the culmination of efforts by British Cycling and its members to get this issue on the government’s agenda. British Cycling was accompanied at the meeting by Will Jefferies, brother of British Cycling employee Rob, who was tragically killed in 2011, and representatives of the CTC, RoadPeace and the Department for Transport.
Officials from the Department for Transport were also in attendance and, along with Ms Grant, agreed to support a cross-stakeholder working group with the different agencies involved, including the Crown Prosecution Service, Association of Chief Police Officers, Chief Coroner, Home Office and Magistrates Association to review the justice system and how it might be improved. Ms Grant also agreed to look at how the system can be made more transparent and to consider how victims and their families can be better supported. The Under-Secretary of State for Justice also agreed to talk to other ministers both within the Ministry of Justice and in other government departments.
The meeting follows on from a parliamentary debate on victims and the criminal justice system in October, where a number of MPs spoke in support of British Cycling’s call for a comprehensive review and where Ms Grant agreed to meet with British Cycling.
92 MPs, representing all the major political parties, have also shown support by signing an Early Day Motion in favour of the justice review, with many responding to letters they received from British Cycling members.
As well as the CTC and RoadPeace, our call for a review is also supported by Sustrans, the London Cycling Campaign, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, The Times, Brake, Leigh Day & Co solicitors, and many others.
Following the meeting, Martin Gibbs, Policy and Legal Affairs Director said “We thank the minister for agreeing to meet with us and discuss our calls for a comprehensive review of the justice system.
“People need to feel that they are protected by the law. It is clear to us that the current justice system often delivers results which send the wrong message about the right of people to ride safely on the roads.
"We look forward to working with the Ministry of Justice and other organisations to look at how the justice system can better serve cyclists when they’re hurt on the roads.”
Victims Minister Helen Grant said:
"Meeting with British Cycling, CTC and RoadPeace today was extremely sobering, especially hearing the devastating experiences of some of their friends and family members.
"It reinforced my feelings as Victims' Minister that it is vital victims receive expert support when trying to get their lives back together.
"I am also going to ensure their experiences and concerns about the Criminal Justice System are borne firmly in mind as we revise the Victims' Code.”