The Police Family Liaison Officer's role

April 6, 2023 – 01:21 pm
The Police Family Liaison Officer s role | Topics, Bereavement due Age at interview: 65 Sex: Female Background: Dorothy was a civil servant (now retired). She is married and has 2 children (1 died).

But the Family Liaison Officer, I think, I can’t remember whether it was because we didn’t sleep I mean, you know you don’t know days or whatever, but she called shortly after, and the family were all there. Friends and family of my daughter in law’s were all sitting, as people do, they collect in houses, sit and drink tea, nobody does anything, they just sit and drink tea, and the Family Liaison Officer called and started to tell us in great detail, she said that Marks’ death had been recorded in CCTV, and they had all been watching it back at the station, and that it was quite horrific, his death was quite horrific, and she started to tell us details then, of just what happened, in front of everybody.

And my grandson was there. And my daughter had flown over from Italy and she took my grandson out and she said, “You shouldn’t have to hear this. He shouldn’t be listening to this.” And she [the officer] actually enjoyed it, it was like she was describing a good film she’d been to, an exciting film she’d been to, and she seemed to quite actually enjoy the gory details of the whole thing.

How awful.

And to cut a long story short the woman was just absolutely horrendous, she added to our agony so much, so we eventually phoned the police and said, “Don’t send that woman back to this house, because she’s not doing us any favours whatsoever.” And with that the police more or less withdrew and didn’t, we didn’t get another Family Liaison Officer and we got no more, no more help from the police at all.

Did you explain why you didn’t want to have her back in the house?

Yes, yes.

And they didn’t apologise or send anybody else?

Well that came much later, I made an official complaint to the Chief Constable of that particular force. And that came much later, that was a lot later. Because you don’t know what, nobody comes forward to help. Nobody says. “This is what you do, this is what happens, this is what should happen.” No, this is a new experience, you don’t know, you really don’t know what you, what should be happening.

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Age at interview: 66 Sex: Male Background: Dean is a Principal Care Officer (Retired). He is married and has 3 children (1 died). Ethnic background/nationality: Indian

Did a Police Liaison Officer come?

The Police Liaison Officer came to see me about a week to ten days later. I was very disappointed with the Police Liaison Officer. He promised to call, he promised me things, and when, each time I ring he wasn’t there, then he said to me, “Look I was very busy, I’m sorry I can’t, I’ll get back to you.” And I, in fact we had a meeting about it at home, and I said to him, “You must put yourself in my position, that we are going through trauma, for you guys it’s just an ordinary job, it’s just another accident, another casualty. But for us it’s our only son, our only child.”

You didn’t see him for a week?

I didn’t see him for almost a week. Almost. He was on the telephone to me, but certainly not face to face contact.

That angered me immensely. In the end, he, he became very supportive, he realised how we were feeling, and more so, with pressure too from his officers as well, so I saw the officer, yes the police liaison officer.

Age at interview: 43 Sex: Male Background: Martin is a Househusband (ex-warehouse manager). He is a widower and has 2 children. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.

He [the liaison officer] was very cold, clinical, this particular police officer, there was no sympathy. Whether he was just, he seemed to give the attitude that he couldn’t really care, it was just another job for him, “No we don’t know what’s happened yet, you know you’re just going have to be patient. You know, well the bus driver will be interviewed in about four months time, we’ve got six months to do it.” “But four months, what’s that, but we want to know what’s happened.” “Well that’s just the way it is I’m afraid, you’ve just got to let the boys do their job.” And it was that kind of offhand, not, almost off hand, there wasn’t a great deal of comfort or, no, I’d just have thought he would’ve been a bit more sympathetic. I mean he is the, my link to all the legal channels, you know the authorities, finding out how my wife was killed, and he was my link to them, and he wasn’t particularly helpful, he didn’t phone me up for weeks, months at a time, not even to just to check on how I was doing really.

Nothing else happened until after the interview with the bus driver, and then he got a few things wrong. He told us first of all that all the charges were going to be dropped against the bus driver, when they hadn’t been. Then he had to come back and told us, told us that it was decided that he was going to be charged with death by dangerous driving. And I was like… this was in the space of a few weeks of each other, we didn’t really hear off him until then, until the court case, which happened in May this year.


He wasn’t, he didn’t, he didn’t become a friend, put it that way, and I would’ve liked him to, you know I really wanted that link between myself and the authorities, because I didn’t know what was going on and still didn’t know why the bus driver had lost control and crashed they way he did and got onto the wrong side of the road, and killed my wife who was on the pavement. But nothing really happened with the Liaison officer until he closed the case, which was only about a month ago, he came around here with the officer in charge of the case, so the two police officers, and nothing really happened, I wasn’t really able to ask him the questions I really wanted to ask, because I knew this would be the last time I saw him, and I just said, I needed to know certain things about the accident, daft, daft things, for my own peace of mind, like “did she see the bus coming?” And, “how bad were her injuries, did she die instantly?” They’re daft little things like that I really wanted to know.

And you felt you could never ask?

No, I don’t know why, I don’t know why Alison. I don’t know why, I think it’s just because he was, I think I knew this was the last chance I’d get…


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