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Inquest Farleys Solicitors LLP
Inquest Farleys Solicitors LLP

Inquests Following a Death Involving the Police

Inquests Following a Death Involving the Police

If someone you love has died following police contact, or while in police custody, you and your family deserve answers about the circumstances in which they died, and whether anything could have been done to prevent it.

At Farleys, our inquest solicitors are dedicated to helping you get those answers, all while providing in-depth legal support and assistance in a compassionate, approachable manner.

Following your initial consultation with us, if you decide to instruct our inquest solicitors, we’ll begin by contacting the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the police force concerned, and the Coroner, informing them that we are involved with the case and thereby ensuring that all communication and correspondence is directed through us from that point onwards. We will then liaise with all of the authorities on your behalf, allowing you and your family the time and space you need to grieve.

One of our specialist inquest solicitors will offer you advice and assistance, and if you wish, we can also represent you throughout these proceedings. Plus, we can provide you with detailed explanations of police procedures and police policy documentation, the latter of which can sometimes be particularly complex and difficult to understand without legal expertise. We will also guide you through the post-mortem report and any medical evidence that is issued, ensuring that you understand exactly what occurred. We’ll also be able to advise as to whether or not you will need any independent experts to assist in the investigation.

You can count on our inquest team at Farleys to take particular care to ensure that you’re fully updated throughout the process, and that you fully understand each step we take on your behalf. At the inquest itself, we strive to ensure that you receive the appropriate representation from an experienced barrister who will look after your interests during the hearing.

The inquest team at Farleys work closely with the campaign and support group INQUEST, who provide support to bereaved families and strive to ensure that improvements are made to the inquest system.


How is legal advice for inquests funded?

When a death involving the police has occurred, government legal funding is often available for the preparation of the inquest proceedings. A member of our team will discuss this with you at your initial appointment, and we’ll be able to advise you further on your individual circumstances.

In addition to help in preparing for an inquest, you may also be entitled to funding to cover the costs of a solicitor and a barrister to represent you at the inquest hearing. Again, this will be discussed at the earliest opportunity by an experienced member of our team.

Do you need a solicitor for an inquest?

You’re not legally required to use an inquest solicitor for an inquest, but it’s highly advisable. Families who choose to represent themselves at an inquest can often find that the process can take an immense toll on their mental and emotional health – and when you’re still processing your own personal feelings of grief and loss, that pressure can start to become overwhelming.

Our legal expertise here at Farleys can help to relieve this pressure, giving you the time and space you need to grieve, as we focus on getting you the answers you deserve about your loved one’s death. This is especially true for Article 2 inquests, in which the authorities will have their own legal representation – so it’s always best to have in-depth legal expertise on your side, too.

What is an Article 2 inquest?

An Article 2 inquest is an investigation into the death of a person who was under the charge of a state institution at the time of their death, such as a hospital, prison, or police station. In cases like these, the state is automatically subject to scrutiny about its level of culpability over the death of someone in its care.

Article 2 investigations often have a particular focus on the circumstances of the person’s death.

The Coroner will declare an Article 2 inquest if the case involves someone who has died:

• In police custody
• As the result of lethal force from a police officer
• During or immediately following some form of contact with the police

If a breach of Article 2 is found to have occurred, you may be able to bring a compensation claim under the Human Rights Act.

How can the police be deemed responsible for someone’s death?

There are a number of ways that the police can be judged to have directly or indirectly caused the death of someone in their custody.

Article 2 inquests may investigate instances of:

• Inappropriate use of force by police officers, including excessive physical force, or inappropriate deployment of Tasers
• A death during a police pursuit
• A death of someone in the station, or in police custody
• Medical deaths where police failed to respond appropriately or in a timely enough manner, such as by arranging the necessary treatment
• Suicide in police custody, or following police contact

Whatever the circumstances of your own loved one’s death, you can count on us here at Farleys to support you every step of the way, providing in-depth legal expertise and assistance as we help you get the answers you deserve.

What does an inquest solicitor do?

An experienced inquest solicitor – like our experts here at Farleys – can assist families in a range of areas, including (but not limited to):

• Helping to secure evidence to initiate an inquest
• Questioning key witnesses – including not just bystanders but potentially professionals like police, paramedics, medical experts and others
• Addressing legal matters, and submitting questions to the Coroner on the family’s behalf
• If necessary, arranging for a second post-mortem
• Dealing with the media (if applicable), such as by preparing statements
• If the death was found to be avoidable, an inquest solicitor can help the family pursue a civil claim, and provide in-depth advice on how to proceed

Contact an Inquest Solicitor

To speak to an experienced Inquest solicitor, call Farleys on 01254606008 or email us . Our team work throughout England and Wales and will arrange an initial consultation, which will be free of charge, at your convenience.

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