Scots Inspectors Recommend Speeding Up FAIs

A series of recommendations have been made to speed up the processing of fatal accident inquiries (FAIs).

The Inspectorate of Prosecution in Scotland has published a report setting out 12 measures to improve the service offered to bereaved relatives and the public, after exploring the reasons for delays to FAIs.

The length of time taken from the date of a person's death to the start of an inquiry has attracted criticism in the past.

A total of 147 deaths led to mandatory or discretionary FAIs between 2012/13 and 2014/15, accounting for 0.7% of all deaths investigated by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

The inspectorate looked at 88 cases from the three-year period and found there had been significant improvements in the time taken for FAIs to get under way, aided by the creation of the Scottish Fatalities Investigation Unit (SFIU) in 2012, a specialist department responsible for investigating all deaths.

In 2014/15, the average time between date of death and the commencement of the FAI was 186 working days - just over 37 weeks.

Michelle McLeod, HM Chief Inspector, said: "In 2012, the SFIU, assumed responsibility for investigating all non-suspicious deaths.

"We found that since 2012 the time taken between the date of death and the start of an FAI has significantly reduced and there has been a marked improvement in the service provided by COPFS.

"While cases are being progressed more quickly, we have identified a number of areas where there is scope for further improvement to expedite investigations and provide a better service to bereaved relatives.''

Recommendations include the introduction of an internal target for progressing mandatory FAIs, a single point of contact for nearest relatives, written notification to all participants on the issues COPFS intends to raise at the inquiry, and the reviewing, updating and centralising of all guidance and policies on the investigation of deaths.

COPFS has accepted all the recommendations.

Police generic Police Say Man's death 'Homicide'

A man found dead in a flat in one of Scotland's most affluent areas following a suspected murder had suffered significant injuries, police have said.

Recently Played Tracks

To listen live, choose your preferred location:

Go

On TV: Feel-Good Christmas!

10am - 11am

Watch heart TV

Heart VIP

Local

Autumn Weather

Find your local four day weather report here.

Listening To Radio Win With Heart

Make Heart the soundtrack to your day and you could be a winner with great prizes up for grabs throughout the day.

Shopping Our Advertisers

Find out more about some of the companies advertising on Heart Scotland- East.

Follow Heart on Twitter