HC Deb 09 June 2004 vol 422 c437W
Mr. McNamara

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the future role of the Surrey police service in undertaking the coroner's assistant duty; and what estimate he has made of the annual(a) cost to the Surrey police service of undertaking the coroner's assistant duty and (b) number of hours that Surrey police spend on coroner's assistant duties. [174754]

Paul Goggins

As announced in "Reforming the Coroner and Death Certification Service, a Position Paper", which we published on 1 March, we propose that the existing responsibility undertaken by the police in Surrey and elsewhere to provide officers to support coroners should in future be transferred to a new national coroner service. Meanwhile, the agreement is that the present levels of staffing arid support are to be maintained.

I understand from Surrey police that they have 12 staff working 20,000 hours a year on coroner's officer duties. The annual cost is around £355,000.