Brake, the road safety charity, announced the winners of this year’s awards at an online ceremony last night (Wednesday, 17 November) to coincide with its annual Road Safety Week campaign.
Awards were presented in three categories: the Outstanding Officer Achievement Award; the Award for Excellent Longstanding Service; and the Family Award.
The winning family liaison officers (FLOs) all demonstrated exceptional commitment to caring for families bereaved by road crashes and providing them with the support they need.
PC Felicity Davis, from West Yorkshire Police, won the Outstanding Officer Achievement Award in recognition of her exemplary behaviour in a very challenging case, where she carefully balanced conflicting and complex aspects of the deployment.
PC George Trayner, from Police Scotland, was presented with the Award for Excellent Longstanding Service. Judges commended his dedication, for more than 20 years, to raising awareness of the vital work carried out by FLOs and encouraging new candidates to take part in training, mentoring and coaching.
PS Darren Westall, from South Wales Police, won the Family Award. He was nominated by one of the families he supported, who praised his painstaking efforts to ensure they were given the information they needed, and thanked him for providing an invaluable source of comfort throughout the inquest and court proceedings.
The awards were sponsored by Birchall Blackburn Law, Hodge Jones & Allen, Horwich Cohen Coghlan (HCC) Solicitors, and Slater and Gordon.
Tracey Lister, head of Brake’s National Road Victim Service, said: “Everyone who entered the Brake Family Liaison Officer Awards 2021 deserves enormous praise and thanks for their work over the past year in exceptionally challenging circumstances. The three winners have all shown outstanding care and commitment when helping bereaved families and we are grateful for everything they have done.
“Road Safety Week is well underway, and this year celebrates road safety heroes, making it a fitting time to shine a light on the vital, heroic work carried out by FLOs each day, up and down the country.
“We would also like to thank our sponsors: Birchall Blackburn Law, Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors, HCC Solicitors and Slater and Gordon. Without their support, these awards would not have been possible.”
Sgt Tim MacAleenan, National Roads Policing Family Liaison Lead, said: “Being a family liaison officer can be one of the most challenging roles within the police service and is a voluntary role as a result of the demands it places on individuals. It is important to recognise excellent family liaison delivery by those who perform these duties and I am pleased to support Brake’s Family Liaison Officer Awards as part of their partnership working with the police service.”
Quentin Underhill, partner and head of serious and catastrophic injury, Birchall Blackburn Law, said: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring the Brake Family Liaison Officer Awards again. It is an important event that honours and acknowledges the amazing work of a remarkable group of police officers. It is work that is often unsung and is done behind the scenes with quiet dignity. Their support for families going through the toughest of times is vital. Well done to the nominees and the winners. You are all extraordinary.”
Leticia Williams, partner and head of personal injury, Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors, said: “Our personal injury team at Hodge Jones & Allen is delighted to sponsor and support the nominees for the Brake Family Liaison Officer Awards 2021. Sadly, we do see the impact and devastation that road traffic deaths bring to individuals and their families and having the support of the FLOs is vital. Our congratulations to all those nominated for providing outstanding support to road crash victims.”
Martin James, chief operating officer, Horwich Cohen Coghlan Solicitors, said: "We are very proud to sponsor these awards which pay tribute to the outstanding work undertaken by FLOs across the country. The support they provide to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury is essential. Every single one of the nominated FLOs has excelled in their duties and we congratulate all of the entrants and nominees for their vital work this year."
Nick Godwin, principal lawyer, serious injury, Slater and Gordon, said: “We are delighted to continue our longstanding support of the police family liaison service by once again co-sponsoring this event. We see all too often the devastation to families torn apart by road traffic crashes and the importance of the tireless work of FLOs up and down the country cannot be underestimated. Congratulations to all nominees.”
The Award for Excellent Longstanding Service and Outstanding Officer Achievement Award received peer-nominations from police colleagues, while nominations for the Family Award came from families who had been supported by a FLO.
Outstanding Officer Achievement Award
Winner: PC Felicity Davis, West Yorkshire Police
- PC Andrew Pickering, Durham Police
- PC Nathalie Horner, Durham Police
- PC Susan Nisbet, Police Scotland
- PC Scott Gee, West Mercia Police
Award for Excellent Longstanding Service
Winner: PC George Trayner, Police Scotland
- PC Sue Scott, Humberside Police
Winner: PS Darren Westall, South Wales Police