Inquest support for a
death involving the police

When your loved one has died following police contact or whilst in police custody, you and your family will want answers to understand how the death occurred or why your loved one was not kept safe.

Contact us to find out more about our inquest support

0800 923 2080

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Supporting you after a death involving the police

Examples include:

  • inappropriate use of force by police officers, such as excessive force or inappropriate use of Taser guns
  • deaths occurring during a police pursuit/car chase
  • deaths occurring whilst in the police station or in police custody
  • medical deaths where the police have failed to recognise/respond to the condition, or have failed to arrange appropriate treatment
  • suicide in police custody, or following police contact.

In these situations, a Coroner will usually hold an inquest to investigate the circumstances of the death. Generally, when an inquest involves the police, it will be known as an ‘Article 2’ Inquest.

Inquests may be a distressing and daunting experience for you. Our specialist solicitors will advise you at every step of the process though, ensuring key documents such as police records, CCTV footage and medical records are provided, and that key witnesses are called to give evidence. We can also liaise with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), formerly the ‘IPCC’, and advise you on any complaints process, investigations or reports which arise from the IOPC involvement.

We will provide specialist representation for you throughout the inquest hearing so that your concerns about what happened to your loved one are properly addressed. After the inquest, or if an inquest did not take place, we can also advise you on whether you can bring a claim for compensation for any negligence on the part of the police.

We can also help put you in touch with specialist organisations that can provide further support during this difficult time. By way of example, we work closely with the charity INQUEST, who provide an invaluable source of support and information where someone has died following police involvement.

The following leaflet, prepared by the government, may also help you to understand the practical steps and processes that occur after someone has died in police custody.

Will I have to pay legal costs?

Often representation can be provided at no direct cost to you. We recommend you get in touch with our specialist team so we can advise you on the options available for you and which may best suit your particular case.

Is this just about money?

If negligence caused the death of your loved one, compensation can help you to secure your future and that of your family, and also cover any expenses incurred as a result of the death, for example funeral costs, loss of earnings, bereavement award, additional childcare costs.

However, understandably many families don’t just want financial compensation, but answers. We strive to find out how the death happened and endeavour to ensure it doesn’t happen to another family.

How can Royds Withy King help you?

Our dedicated inquest team will fight on your behalf and guide you through the process, making it less daunting and ensuring that you get the best possible outcome.

Even if no inquest takes place, you may be able to bring a claim for compensation where negligence has caused or contributed to the death of your loved one. See our fatal claims page for more information.

If you would like to speak to our team, please contact us on

0800 923 2080

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