Brake’s 2019 Family Liaison Officer Awards highlight police support for road crash victims

News from Brake      
Thursday 4 July 2019
Brake, the road safety charity, announced the winners of its 2019 Police Family Liaison Officer (FLO) Awards, at a ceremony in the Houses of Parliament yesterday afternoon. The awards, sponsored by Birchall Blackburn Law, Horwich Cohen Coghlan Solicitors and Slater and Gordon Lawyers, celebrated FLOs’ commitment and dedication to bereaved families.

Three categories were available for nominations; the ‘Award for Excellent Longstanding Service’ and ‘Outstanding Officer Achievement Award’, both open for peer-nominations from Police colleagues, and the ‘Family Award’, nominated by families supported by an FLO.

Outstanding Officer Achievement Award winner:

  • PC Jo Baxter, Nottinghamshire Police [1]

Highly commended nominees:

  • PC Louise Phipps, Avon and Somerset Police
  • PC Allison Sellers, Metropolitan Police

Award for Excellent Longstanding Service winner:

  • PC Tony Hayhurst, Cheshire Police [2]

Highly commended nominees:

  • PC Nick Anderton, Cheshire Police
  • PC George Trayner, Police Scotland

Family Award winner:

  • PC Tom Kerr, Devon and Cornwall Police [3]

Highly commended nominees:

  • PC Craig Booth, Lancashire Constabulary
  • Investigation Officer Sophie Law, Nottinghamshire Police

Brake’s 2019 FLO Awards ceremony was attended by Brake partners, supporters and volunteers. The awards were presented by Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Wood, of the Metropolitan Police.

Mary Williams, Chief Executive at Brake, the road safety charity, says: “In the aftermath of a road crash, FLOs provide vital care to families, when they need it most. We were delighted to receive such a high number of exceptional nominations for our second ever FLO Awards, and it has been inspiring to read so many exemplary accounts of guidance and support.

It was an honour to see the winning nominees celebrated at the ceremony at the Houses of Parliament, and on behalf of Brake, I would like to congratulate all of this year’s entrants and nominees for their outstanding contributions to bereaved families. We are also incredibly grateful for the support of Birchall Blackburn Law, Horwich Cohen Coghlan Solicitors and Slater and Gordon Lawyers, without whose funding these awards would not have been possible.”

A full list of shortlisted and nominated officers for the 2019 awards is available on the Brake website here:

For additional information and photos from the ceremony, please email

Notes for editors:

[1] Outstanding Officer Achievement Award winner, PC Jo Baxter, Nottinghamshire Police, was commended by the judges for:

  • Her excellent professional dedication, and ability to develop and maintain relationships with families in the most challenging circumstances.
  • Her flexibility and adaptability, and commitment to providing bereaved families with fully tailored and encompassing support.
  • The judges also praised PC Baxter’s thoughtfulness and compassion, and considerate use of external agencies, to ensure that families receive comprehensive care.

[2] Award for Excellent Longstanding Service winner, PC Tony Hayhurst, Cheshire Constabulary, was commended by the judges for:

  • His ability to overcome challenging situations. In particular, the judges praised PC Hayhurst’s creative and innovative work in a case where the victim was a foreign national, and the bereaved family lived overseas.
  • PC Hayhurst’s longstanding dedication to supporting his colleagues. Alongside providing outstanding support to bereaved families, PC Hayhurst ensures that he shares his experiences at training events, and supports new FLOs through their first deployments.
  • His exceptional commitment to family liaison, which led in once case to PC Hayhurst personally transporting donated organs to Cambridgeshire, for the NHS.

[3] Family Award winner, PC Tom Kerr, Devon and Cornwall Police, was commended by the judges for:

  • His thoughtfulness, understanding and compassion, which combined with his exceptional communication skills, ensured that the nominating family felt fully supported.
  • The nominating family also praised his dedication and commitment. PC Kerr was there to support the family throughout their entire journey and experience, including attending court with them, regardless of whether he was on duty or not.
  • PC Kerr also had exceptional awareness of the family’s needs. When he became aware that the family wanted to raise awareness of road safety, he proactively liaised between them and the media to enable this.

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes.

Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

About Birchall Blackburn Law

Birchall Blackburn Law is a long established firm of solicitors and provider of legal services with offices in Preston, Manchester, Chester, Chorley, Leyland, Morecambe and Southport.

Birchall Blackburn Law has experienced solicitors who specialise in serious and catastrophic injury.

The firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (No. 543429).

Media contact

Stuart Hughes | Birchall Blackburn Law | Tel: 07535 424 379 | Em:

Horwich Cohen Coghlan (HCC) Solicitors is an award-winning law firm which helps seriously injured and traumatised clients get recompense for long-term rehabilitation and treatment. The firm helps victims of road traffic accidents, motorbike accidents as well as catastrophic injuries arising from all areas of life. 

The firm employs more than 250 people in Manchester and has clients all over the UK. See  

Slater and Gordon Lawyers

Slater and Gordon Lawyers is one of the UK’s largest law firms with offices throughout England, Wales and Scotland. Our mission is to provide people with easier access to world class legal services. We are one of the country’s leading firms in personal injury and offer an unmatched breadth and depth of legal services for victims of injury. We have experts in personal injury who are classed as leaders in their field by independent legal guides, and have specialist expertise in catastrophic injuries. Our reputation is built on the services offered by our highly experienced staff who specialise in all areas of law. 

Additionally, we represent clients across a range of practise areas these include: clinical negligence, employment, divorce and family. The firm represents the Police Federation of England and Wales and specialises in police law.

For further information visit