Our family liaison officers (FLOs) are specially trained to provide a two-way flow of information between bereaved families and our investigation teams. They help support the family through the police investigation, answer questions and gather important information about the person who has died.
After someone dies on the railway, it is vital to gather a full picture of what happened as soon as possible, so that we can establish the cause and circumstances of their death. Our family liaison officers help us to do this in a way that is best for their family and friends.
The role of a family liaison officer
Family liaison officers are trained to support families and friends who have lost a loved one on the railway. They can:
communicate with the bereaved, build trust and provide proactive support
act as a consistent point of contact for loved ones and keep them up to date about how the investigation is progressing
help loved ones prepare for a post-mortem, court case or inquest
understand the effects of bereavement on different people and age groups, including children
liaise with the coroners office and the media if required
keep logs of each meeting with the family, to support the ongoing investigation and build up a picture of what happened.
Our family liaison officers can also direct family and friends to organisations where they can get emotional support or practical advice, such as Cruse Bereavement Care, Victim Support and The Candle Project.
Working to reduce suicides on the railway
While not every fatality on the railway is caused by someone taking their own life, we support Samaritans' campaign, which helps people working in suicide prevention to reach out to working class men aged 30-60, who are more at risk of suicide.
We continue to work closely with Samaritans to help our officers, staff and the media understand more about suicide and how we can work together to help prevent it.