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Road Safety

Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the policy of the Metropolitan police is on charging (a) victims and their families of road death or serious injury and (b) dependants for police reports, witness statements and collision investigation reports on such incidents in respect of incidents occurring (i) within the Metropolitan police area and (ii) partly within the Metropolitan police area and partly in neighbouring police authority areas. [111197]

In each of the areas listed, the Metropolitan police follow the charging policy adopted by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). The ACPO standard requires the recovery of administration and reproduction costs applicable to all police records, including copies of road collision investigation reports.In cases involving serious road traffic incidents, local senior police officers have discretion to waive charges where, for example, payment would bring hardship or cause distress. The decision can also depend on the timing of the request and whether it comes from a third party. In some cases, the full circumstances of an incident may lead to a charge being levied.Disclosure of relevant police records to victims and dependants is clearly a sensitive issue. We will examine it carefully as part of pilot projects, due to commence later this year, on how best to meet the support needs of serious road crash victims.