British Cycling’s justice review campaign took a significant step forward after Transport Minister Stephen Hammond agreed to host the review meetings when he met with British Cycling, CTC and Sustrans this week.
This follows Helen Grant Justice Minister committing to supporting the review when we met her at the end of December. The first meeting of the stakeholders already on board (including the Crown Prosecution Service, Association of Chief Police Officers, Chief Coroner, Home Office and Magistrates Association) is due in February.
Over the next week as we raise the issue at the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s (APPCG) ‘Get Britain Cycling’ inquiry and meet with influential figures in the judicial system. On Wednesday 30 January, justice for people killed or injured on the roads will be a hot topic at the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ inquiry, as Policy and Legal Affairs Director Martin Gibbs gives evidence at the second session, focussed on ‘safety’. For more information on the Get Britain Cycling inquiry and our involvement in it, click here.
Our justice review campaign has four key strands: a full analysis of the way that the police and coroners investigate these cases; a review of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) charging standards; a full examination of the offences available to the CPS; and a review of the sentencing guidelines to reflect the very serious harm that bad driving can cause.
Ahead of the evidence session, Martin Gibbs said: “Cases such as Tom Ridgway, who was killed by taxi driver Icchapal Brahma, show that justice is failing people hurt on the road and why it badly needs reviewing.”
With justice for cyclists on the agenda at the Get Britain Cycling inquiry, we are also engaging with key stakeholders to get their support for our justice review. We will soon be meeting with the newly-appointed Victims Commissioner, Baroness Newlove. We will be addressing how victims and their families can be better supported through the criminal justice process and how the failings in the process let down victims, or allow them fall through the gaps between agencies.
We’ll also be meeting with the new Chief Coroner, His Honour Judge Peter Thornton, focussing on the subject of coroner reform. We will be seeking more transparency and accountability so that coroners’ processes are easier to understand and more data is readily available. We believe that families should be treated consistently and fairly in coroners’ courts and will request that the Chief Coroner considers a new verdict of ‘road collision death’; currently deaths on the roads are usually recorded as ‘accidental’ so there’s no way of knowing how many are as a result of a road collision.
The main objectives for the meetings are to gain the support of both the Chief Coroner and the Victims Commissioner for the justice review and to lend their influence in creating greater support across government and other key organisations.
To find out more about our Justice Review and the campaign so far, click here.