Family Liaison Officers
What does a Family Liaison Officer do?
Family Liaison Officers are experienced police officers who volunteer to carry out the role, and in the case of a serious or fatal road traffic collision, would normally be a traffic officer.
Family Liaison Officers are specially trained to work with families and as part of the investigation team. They will be your link with the investigation and occasionally ask you if you wish to speak with the senior investigating officer. They will guide you as the investigation takes you through the criminal justice or coroners system. They will give you information and practical support about the investigation and various procedures whenever this is necessary.
How do I contact a Family Liaison Officer?
When a Family Liaison Officer is assigned to you, they will provide a contact number. If you need to contact the FLO, you should telephone the number provided. If your call isn’t answered please leave a message and let the FLO know how urgently you need to speak to them. You must understand that the FLO works many different hours on different days. When you try and contact them, it may be their day off and so there may be some delay in returning your call. They will let you know if they are not available for any length of time.
Which members of the family will the Family Liaison Officer deal with?
That is between yourselves and the Officer, experience has shown it is usually best practice if just one member of your family has regular contact with the FLO. This means that everyone in the family knows who to speak to for updates on the investigation, and it reduces the chances of family members misinterpreting the information received.
Will the Family Liaison Officer be able to answer all my questions?
If you ask them for information they do not have, they will tell you that that they do not have it and will try and get it for you. If you ask for information they cannot give you, let’s say for legal reasons, they will explain why. As soon as they are able to give you that information, they will do so. They will be open and honest with you, and therefore you have to be prepared for any answer – even one’s that you might not want to hear.
When the Family Liaison Officer visits they often write things down. Why is that?
They need to record information about their visit in the logbook. Don’t be worried if you see them taking notes during their visit with you. This will make sure that they have all the details they need to help with the investigation. They will send a copy of the log to the Senior Investigation Officer.
What should I do if I don’t understand something?
Please tell the Officer as soon as possible if they say anything that you do not understand or if you find any process or procedure confusing. The FLO understands that many aspects of the system can be confusing and will gladly spend the time to explain anything you do not understand. Always keep a notepad handy to write down any questions as you think of them. You can then ask him/her during their next visit.
What do I do if I wish to complain about the Family Liaison Officer or how the investigation is being run?
If you wish to make a complaint about the FLO or how the investigation is being run, please inform the FLO who will record the fact in their logbook and inform the Senior Investigation Officer, who will then contact you.
Will the Family Liaison Officer be able to tell me how long the investigation will take?
It is impossible to say how long the investigation will take. However, as the enquiry progresses it is likely you will need to see the FLO less and less. This is a natural thing. When the investigation, criminal court and coroners court has finished your contact with the FLO will end.
The Family Liaison Officer has given me a book – what’s that for?
The Family Liaison Officer has given you an information pack, which is designed to lead you through the procedures and processes that the police and other official organisations carry out following a fatal or serious injury collision. If you have any questions relating to the information in the pack, don’t hesitate and ask the FLO.