Family Liaison Officers - Roads Policing
The primary role of a Family Liaison Officer (FLO) is that of an investigator, their role is to gather evidence and information from the family to contribute to the investigation and preserve its integrity.
A fuller explanation can be found on the College of Policing APP here.
Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing officers are trained as family liaison officers for cases which involve a road death, they can:
- Help to build trust and provide support to the bereaved
- Act as a point of contact for families effected and keep them up to date with the progress of the investigation
- Help those effected prepare for a post mortem, court case or inquest
- Liaise with the Coroner’s office and media
Family liaison officers will
- Have an understanding of the effects of bereavement on different people including children
- Keep logs of each meeting with the family, to support the investigation
- Be able to advise on support organisations and charities where families can get emotional support and help.
- Provide next of kin with a support pack from BRAKE
FLOs are allocated to the most appropriate next of kin following a road death. If there is a larger extended family or a number of persons who are close to the deceased, there will be a conversation to decide who the FLO will update and how the remaining family members will be passed information.
To allow all families to receive an equal service, it is not always possible for each family member to be individually updated and generally the FLO will pass details on one or two persons with an agreement for the family to pass this information on.
The FLO will agree when to contact you and in what circumstances, some people prefer regular contact whether there is any change or not in the investigation, others may only want contact when something important happens. This is a decision you will make with the FLO.
FLOs are managed by Family Liaison Co-Ordinators (FLC), who ensure the FLOs have ongoing training and are suitable to deploy. They will check the FLO has a manageable workload and their welfare is considered.
The Lead investigator will brief the FLO and explain the current status of the investigation and the lines of enquiry being followed.
The FLO is generally aware of the full details of an investigation, however there may be times when the investigation has to withhold certain information, the FLO should not lie to a family or pass inaccurate information and as such they may be excluded from certain decisions and briefings relating to sensitive issues.
The most important issue is that an FLO is able to provide a good service to a family and if there are any problems relating to this the FLC will seek to resolve them as soon as possible.
When an FLO is deployed, the FLC will send you a letter. If you have any complaints then you should speak to your FLO to see if you can resolve them. If you are not comfortable doing this then please contact the FLC who will discuss the issues with you and agree a way forward. If your complaint is in relation to a more serious matter or a breach of the standards of behaviour, you can make a complaint to the professional standards department here
Please see the following section which outlines support available through other organisations, charities and agencies.
Unfortunately we only provide FLOs for serious collisions in limited circumstances on a case by case basis.
All the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing officers are trained as FLOs and are assessed as suitable before taking up the role.
There are a limited number of Roads Policing FLOs as such Crime FLOs are sometimes deployed on fatal collision investigations. A crime FLO has is also trained the main difference is that they will come from departments outside of Roads Policing. The deployment of a crime FLO does not affect the level of service you receive.