• 200 support professionals gathered at Brake’s second After the Crash conference to showcase excellence in post-crash care for road victims.
  • Conference calls for secure funding and parity of care for families bereaved or seriously injured from road crashes.

The one-day, sell-out conference for professionals was held in Manchester City Centre and brought together more than 200 people from the police, emergency services, legal sector and other organisations that support families bereaved or seriously injured from road crashes.

Delegates heard from a range of expert speakers and panellists to learn more about the specific needs of road victims and what excellence in post-crash care looks like, throughout a packed programme expertly hosted by Dan Campsall, from road safety consultancy Agilysis.

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Host Dan Campsall, Agilysis, addresses the audience
Delegates observe a one minute silence to reflect and remember road victims
Delegates observe a one-minute silence to reflect and remember road victims

The conference began with a keynote speech from Chief Constable Jo Shiner from Sussex Police. In her role as National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Lead for Roads Policing, CC Shiner spoke about how the compassion, advice and support provided by organisations such as Brake can bring comfort to families at such an awful time in their lives, and highlighted the importance of working in partnership to enhance the support that can be provided. She ended with her wish for victim support for those involved in road traffic collisions to be on a par with other violent and preventable homicides.

The first mission of policing is to save life but sadly every year hundreds of people lose their life on UK roads. What we do next together to support victims and families is of huge importance

CC Jo Shiner, NPCC Lead for Roads Policing

There followed a stirring call from Commander Kyle Gordon, Metropolitan Police, to change the mindset regarding road death and roads policing. He questioned why so many people still consider the current level of road death to be ‘acceptable’ and why roads policing continues to receive so little funding, resource and recognition compared with some other branches of policing. Commander Gordon called for delegates to stand and observe a minute’s silence, to reflect and remember road victims, and asked everyone in the room to take a bold and brave stance to end road death and injury.

In his opening address, Brake’s CEO Ross Moorlock compared the safety record of roads with that of the aviation or rail industry, reminding the audience that if the aviation or rail industry experienced the same number of deaths, planes would be grounded and trains would be stopped.

Ross then shared information about the charity’s National Road Victim Service, which is the national provider of trauma-informed, case-managed support for road victims across the UK. He explained that every year the service supports thousands of families that have been devastated by bereavement or catastrophic injuries following a crash, as well as providing expert support to help police family liaison officers with their caseloads. Ross spoke about the importance of Brake’s person-centred approach and how no two people have the same response to grief and trauma.

This theme continued, with Dr Nicola Lester, a specialist in psychological trauma, exploring the effects of traumatic bereavement and the importance of a trauma-informed approach, which includes giving victims a voice, enabling them to have choice and control, and creating a safe space to help them cope with the often-challenging bureaucracy within the criminal justice system.

If the aviation or rail industry had the safety record that roads do, planes would be grounded, and trains would be stopped

Ross Moorlock, CEO, Brake

A central theme of the day was the need for secure funding for road victim support, in line with the much greater resources and funding available to police and other organisations that support victims of homicide, for example.

In a panel session about the changing landscape of road victim support, chaired by UK ROEd’s CEO Ruth Purdie OBE, Detective Inspector Steve Kilsby, Leicestershire Police, and Commander Kyle Gordon, Metropolitan Police, discussed the differences in the funding, resourcing, attitudes and procedures for a homicide death versus a road traffic death, highlighting that road deaths deserve the same level of care and accountability.

Alongside the focus on evidence and expertise, the day was full of emotion too, with impactful sessions from road victims talking about their own experiences. Calvin Buckley talked about his heartbreaking loss following the death of his partner Frankie Jules-Hough and their unborn daughter Neeve in 2023, when their car was hit by a speeding driver. Frankie’s father Frank Hough hit the message home when he spoke about the storm of grief he felt when Frankie died, and how he was offered help but “couldn’t hear it.”

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Bereaved road victims Frank Hough (left) and Calvin Buckley (centre) talk to Brake caseworker Vicky Leadbeater about their experience following the death of Frankie Jules-Hough and her daughter Neeve

Despite decades of experience working in NHS trauma services, and a PhD in road safety policy, Dr Ian Greenwood made it clear in his presentation that he spoke first and foremost as a father of Alice who died in a crash in 2008, aged just 12. Many in the audience were visibly moved as he talked about the crash and explained some of the challenges and consolations for road victims using their experience to campaign and try to prevent further unnecessary road deaths.

The conference also covered complex cases, restorative justice, support for victims of crashes involving uninsured drivers, and the signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue. Last but by no means least, there was also a video presentation from Baroness Newlove, Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, who spoke about the importance of immediate access to specialist support for road victims, regardless of the status of any ongoing police investigation.

Too often road victims are left stranded without support in the immediate aftermath of a crash whilst the police assess whether a crime has occurred. Victims must be supported in those critical moments

Baroness Newlove, Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales

The After the Crash conference is a flagship event in Brake’s calendar of activity. CEO Ross Moorlock commented: “It is always very humbling to host this conference and stand together with the professionals who operate on the very front line of road victim support. The people in the room today are the ones who knock on doors with bad news, who stand with families at the scene of a crash, and who we are privileged to help give road victims the expert support they need and deserve. This is a great opportunity for us to work together, to discuss the challenges and to find the ways forward by showcasing best practice in care for road victims. A huge thank you to everyone who took part and supported the conference.”

The After the Crash conference was sponsored by long-time Brake supporters Alderstone Solicitors, HCC Solicitors and Slater & Gordon, making it possible for police and and other emergency service professionals to attend for free. The conference also included an exhibition with a range of top legal firms and other bereavement, injury and trauma charities coming together to network and share their work.

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Delegates enjoyed networking with organisations that support people afected by bereavement, trauma and injury.

The full line-up of speakers was:

Conference host

  • Dan Campsall, Chair, Agilysis

Keynote speakers

  • Baroness Newlove, Victims' Commissioner (video presentation)
  • Chief Constable Jo Shiner, Sussex Police, NPCC lead for Roads Policing (video presentation)
  • Commander Kyle Gordon, Metropolitan Police


  • Ross Moorlock, CEO, Brake
  • Ruth Purdie OBE, CEO, UKROEd
  • Dr Nicola Lester, Psychological Trauma Consultancy
  • Dr Ian Greenwood, bereaved road victim and road safety campaigner
  • Calvin Buckley, bereaved road victim and road safety campaigner
  • Frank Hough, bereaved road victim and road safety campaigner
  • Chris Lewis, Warwickshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Steve Kilsby, Leicestershire Police
  • Craig McNeill, Police Scotland
  • David Clement QPM, former senior investigation officer, legal associate
  • Hannah Bailey, Blue Light Wellbeing
  • Paul Farley, Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB)
  • Deborah Sleightholme, chair of trustees, Brake
  • Marco Fantin, Brake's National Road Victim Service
  • John Millward, Metropolitan Police
  • Vicky Leadbeater, Brake's National Road Victim Service
  • Lucy Evans, Make Amends Restorative Justice Service, Shekinah


  • Alderstone Solicitors
  • HCC Solicitors
  • Slater & Gordon


  • Air Ambulances UK
  • Blue Light Wellbeing
  • Brake’s National Road Victim Service
  • Fletchers Solicitors
  • Hodge Jones & Allen
  • Hugh James
  • Irwin Mitchell
  • Spinal Injuries Association

To learn more about this conference visit www.brake.org.uk/afterthecrash

To hear about events like this sign up to MyBrake www.brake.org.uk/get-involved/take-action/mybrake

To sign up for Brake’s Police Family Liaison Officer Hub visit www.brake.org.uk/flo-hub.

About Alderstone Solicitors Down arrow icon to open accordion

For more than 30 years our solicitors have worked with people bereaved or seriously injured on UK roads. From providing free legal advice and representation for families during inquests, to taking on claims for compensation, we have been part of Brake’s legal services since 2019. We are proud to support this vital charity.


About HCC Solicitors Down arrow icon to open accordion

HCC is an award-winning serious injury law firm, proud to support Brake. If you need a trusted legal professional to represent you or your family following trauma, catastrophic injury or fatality following a road collision, HCC is for you.

HCC is a specialist law firm that takes a ‘family first’ approach to helping people and families who have experienced traumatic life-changing events. With offices across the country its team of expert lawyers are ready to offer advice at a time when families need it most.


About Slater and Gordon Down arrow icon to open accordion

Slater and Gordon is one of the UK’s largest law firms with leading experts across the country, many of whom are considered leaders in their field by independent legal guides. We are highly specialised in representing individuals who have been affected by life-changing and serious injuries.