Scotland urged to adopt UK procedure for sudden death investigations

Favor UK want Scotland to adopt the same system of inquests that is used elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

Faces and Voices of Recovery call for Scotland to adopt UK procedure for sudden death investigations Google Maps

A charity is calling for changes in the way sudden deaths are investigated in Scotland, saying the system of coroner’s inquests should be used instead.

Faces and Voices of Recovery (Favor UK) want Scotland to replicate the inquests system used elsewhere in the UK, where a coroner examines the circumstances around sudden deaths.

Along with families who have lost loved ones to sudden deaths, they say there is a “disturbing trend of reclassifying potential homicides as suicides or accidents”.

The Crown Office’s Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit (SFIU) examines deaths which take place north of the border. Fatal Accident Inquiries take place for certain deaths.

Favor UK’s CEO, Annemarie Ward, said: “This presentation is an essential step in confronting a crisis that has long been overshadowed. We invite the public, policymakers, and community leaders to join us in this critical conversation that we hope will lead to real and lasting change in how our nation deals with sudden deaths.”

Supporting their calls is Stuart Graham whose stepson, Colin Marr, died in 2007 aged 23.

The family have long challenged the initial police finding of suicide.

Mr Graham was critical of the investigation into his stepson’s death, saying: “The failings were right at the beginning and there was no way that can be tested.”

A spokesman for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “We understand the impact that the loss of a loved one can have on bereaved families.

“The procurator fiscal will investigate every death reported to us thoroughly and independently.

“This work seeks to establish what happened and consider whether criminal proceedings or a Fatal Accident Inquiry would be appropriate.

“It is a strength of the Scottish system, which reflects a common European model, that death investigations are undertaken by a public prosecutor, who in Scotland is the procurator fiscal.”

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