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Issue:- 6 February 2015

Charity urges road death prosecutors to take on recommendations

BRAKE, the road safety charity, is calling on the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to significantly improve its performance in the prosecution of drivers who kill or seriously injure.  The call comes in response to a damning, joint report published today by the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) and Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which found widespread failings in both decision making and communication to victims' families on the part of the CPS.

The quality of CPS decision making was found to be good in less than half of the cases analysed, and service to bereaved families was "in many cases poor and short of its own guidance." The findings echo the negative experiences of many bereaved and injured road crash victims supported directly by Brake through its helpline.

The report makes a number of recommendations for the CPS to "reinvigorate its approach" to road death and injury cases, including the need for specialist prosecutors, as is the case for rape and serious sexual assault offences. Brake is urging the CPS to implement these recommendations to their full extent, having failed to do so following the last HMCPSI review in 2008.

The report also looked at the role of police investigators in these cases, who were found overall to be professional and thorough. Brake congratulates the police on their improved work, particularly those in the vital and sensitive role of family liaison officer. The charity, 20 years old this year, works with every police force across the UK to offer support to bereaved and injured road crash victims, and has played a leading role in training hundreds of police family liaison officers.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:- "Crown prosecutors and police investigators do difficult and hugely important jobs. It is vital they fulfil their roles as professionally and consistently as possible, to ensure devastated victims of road crime feel informed and supported, and that justice has been done. Brake has been at the forefront of supporting crash victims for many years, and we know that many are left feeling betrayed and distressed by their experiences of the justice system.  We are very encouraged by the significant progress that has been made by police forces in liaising with road crash victims, and hope they will continue to improve and provide victims with a passionate and dedicated service. However, as is made painfully clear by this report, the service being provided by the CPS is inadequate, in terms of decision-making and communication with victims. The CPS needs to implement the HMCPSI recommendations as a matter of urgency."

Brake works closely with police forces and family liaisons officers across the UK to deliver essential support to bereaved and injured road crash victims. Brake's accredited helpline supports victims of more than 500 road death and serious injury cases a year, and Brake's packs are handed to families by police following every UK road death. Find out more at:- Brake.Org.UK/Support.

Monitor closes investigation into Liverpool Women's Hospital

LIVERPOOL Women's NHS Foundation Trust has improved how it is managed, and as a result Monitor has decided to close its investigation into the trust.  The health sector regulator launched an investigation in July 2014 after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) raised concerns about how the trust monitors the quality of its services and manages staffing levels. Monitor wanted to find out if the CQC's concerns indicated wider problems in how the trust was run.  Since the investigation was opened, the trust has taken action to address the issues raised and the CQC has reported improvements.  After reviewing the evidence, Monitor has decided that no further formal regulatory action is needed. Paul Chandler, Regional Director at Monitor, said:- "We are pleased that patients at Liverpool Women's Hospital are benefitting from recent improvements in how the trust is run. The trust has taken steps to address the concerns raised by the CQC about staffing and how it monitors the quality of its services, and we are now satisfied that there are not wider problems at the trust."  The regulator will continue to scrutinise the trust as it builds on the progress made and seeks to ensure its long term financial sustainability.

Witness appeal after train hits obstruction on track at Atherton Signal Box

THE British Transport Police (BTP) are appealing for witnesses after a train hit items that had been deliberately placed on the line from Manchester Victoria to Wigan Wallgate. At around 6.45pm on Sunday, 1 February 2015, the 6.11pm service from Manchester Victoria to Wigan Wallgate struck several items that had been left on the track at Atherton Signal Box, narrowly avoiding damage to the train. On investigation these items were found to be 2x 25 litre drums containing water and 2 bags of cement. Investigating officer PC Carl Roach said:- "It was extremely fortunate there were no injuries to passengers and that the train was not damaged. This could have so easily been more serious. It is vital we find those responsible for this reckless and dangerous act. We will use all necessary resources to find them and bring them to justice. Acts like this that potentially put the lives of rail staff and passengers in danger will simply not be tolerated. We urge anyone who knows anything about the incident, or who might have seen any suspicious activity around the time of the incident, to come forward to help us with our enquiries. Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on:- 0800 40 50 40, or text:- 61016, quoting background reference:- PSUB/B3 of 6/02/15. Information can also be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:- 0800 555 111."

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Deceased estates notice - Lilian May Jackam

Pursuant to the Trustee Act 1925, any persons having a claim against or an interest in the Estate of Lilian May Jackam (also known as Lillian May) Jackam (Deceased), late of Birch Abbey Rest Home, 55 Alexandra Road, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 9HD, UK, who died on 04/10/2018, are required to send particulars thereof in writing, to the undersigned Solicitors, on or before 24/05/2019, after which date the Estate will be distributed having regard only to claims and interests of which they have had notice. Churches Solicitors, 12 High Street, Fareham, Hampshire, PO16 7BL, UK. Ref:- 'T553015.'

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