What they do and how they can help
Family Liaison officers are police officers who are specially trained to deal with families after a serious crime. They are usually appointed on the day of the incident.
Their job is to be a sensitive contact between the police investigation and the family.
Often police investigations need background information on the victim and may also need to take statements from family members.
Many families will want to know exactly what happened to their loved ones, how the investigation is progressing and what will happen next.
Family Liaison Officers are generally friendly and approachable people who can help with information on the criminal and legal processes, particularly:
- during the investigation of the crime
- in dealing with coroners courts, and
- in the run up to any trial.
Sometimes they can also act as a spokesman for any statements the family might want to make to the press.
If necessary a separate Family Liaison Officer will be appointed for the families of both the victim and the perpetrator.
Although they aren’t therapists and counsellors, many victims’ families do find their help and support invaluable at a very difficult time. They are often the only people from any authority able to provide any useful information or support.
They are often the only officials who have any time or understanding for what grieving families are going through.