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Greg Mulholland

Greg Mulholland presents Bill demanding tougher criminal driving laws

January 12, 2016 7:18 PM

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Leeds North West MP today presented his Criminal Driving (Justice for Victims) Bill in the House of Commons, receiving backing from MPs across the House.

[Pictured left: Greg Mulholland speaking in the House of Commons earlier today.]

The Bill seeks to strengthen penalties related to serious criminal driving offences that lead to serious injury or death, redefine such offences and amend bail conditions for those charged with them, and also to enhance the standards of investigation, both by the police and in the Courts, into such offences. It also demands improving the treatment of victims of criminal driving offences and their families within the justice system.

The Bill was co-sponsored by 30 other MPs from across the House, showing the strong cross-party support for the changes called for in the Bill. Some MPs who have been involved in the campaign and said they also back the Bill were unable to add their name to it due to being ministers, shadow ministers or whips.

Greg Mulholland has been a long time campaigner for better justice for victims of road crime, having started his work on this issue after his constituents, Otley resident Jamie Still and David and Dorothy Metcalf from Cookridge, were killed by drunk drivers in December 2010 and January 2012 respectively.

Speaking today, Greg paid tribute to the campaigning by Jamie's mother Karen Strong and his sister Rebecca Still, and also to Clive Metcalf, son of David and Dorothy:

"I dedicate this Bill to the memories of Jamie, David and Dorothy, and all who have lost their lives as a result of these serious crimes."

He also paid tribute to MPs from across the House who had worked with him and with their own constituents who had lost loved ones.

Speaking afterwards, he said:

"The Criminal Driving Bill was well received by all sides of the House and has cross-party support. I know that many of the families who I and other MPs have worked with were watching today's proceedings and they will now be expecting government to look at the serious concerns there are with existing laws.

"I have seen the devastation these serious crimes cause and witnessed just a little of the grief of the families of Jamie Still from Otley and David and Dorothy Metcalf from Cookridge, who were killed by criminally reckless driving. There are families up and down the country who have been through the same life shattering experience of losing loved ones. Yet as if the devastation and loss were not enough, too many of these families have been failed by the justice system, too many victims have been denied justice. These are the families I spoke for today, to avoid more victims and families facing this in the future.

"That 30 MPs co-sponsored the Bill shows the strength of feeling in the House of Commons to see some much-needed changes. We will all be holding government to account in the months ahead, especially with a consultation document on potential changes now expected later this year. I am writing to justice ministers to ask them to look at what the Criminal Driving Bill calls for and how soon we can bring forward these changes. The campaign to tackle criminal driving will continue until the law has been greatly strengthened."