It may be that the person close to you who has died, has been killed Abroad, which creates extra difficulties. If a relative or friend becomes the 'victim of murder' overseas while you are in the UK, the British Consul is there to help.
Once the death has been reported to a British Consulate Overseas, they will pass the details to the United Kingdom Police. If the person was murdered, or the death is unexplained or suspicious, a Family Liaison Officer will be assigned to carry out the necessary liaison with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Consular Staff in London will keep in touch with you and the Consulate abroad until the burial or cremation overseas, or until the person is brought back to the UK. The Consular Staff in London will pass on to the Consulate abroad your wishes concerning the Funeral requirements, and they do their best to see the wishes are carried out.
If the person that has died is know to be suffering from an 'infectious condition' such as Hepatitis or HIV it is essential that the Authorities are informed. There may be a delay before you can bring the person home, especially if an Overseas Inquest and/or Post-Mortem is required. If you wish for there to be an Inquest in Britain, the person must be returned to the United Kingdom. You do not have to Register the Death with the British Consulate, but if you do then you can obtain a UK Death Certificate, which will be registered in the UK.
There are some Countries where British Consulates cannot issue UK Death Certificates.
Next Of Kin:
The British Consuls can keep the next of kin informed, they can advise on the cost of local burial, local cremation and transport costs of the person who has died and their personal property, back to the UK. They will also provide a list of local Funeral Directors. If an English speaking company is unavailable, then the Consulate will help with the arrangements.
Where there is evidence of suspicious circumstances they can press for an investigation by the local authorities and pass on reports. However, the Consul cannot:
* Investigate deaths themselves.
* Pay Burial or Cremation expenses.
* Pay for the return of the deceased person to the UK
* Pay any debts that may be outstanding.
If you decide to bring the person back from Abroad, the Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages for the district where the funeral is to take place, must be informed, as they will need to issue a Certificate before the Burial can take place. Furthermore, if a cremation is to take place, the Home Office also needs to give permission. However, if the death was not due to natural causes the Coroner for the District will also need to be informed and an Inquest may need to take place. The of course may delay the issuing of a Certificate and consequently delay the Funeral.
Support Services Overseas:
Many Countries have services like Victim Support which can provide help. Victim Support’s National Office can help by contacting these for you, if you wish. Some Countries also have their own State Compensation Schemes.
Murdered Abroad (formerly SAMM Abroad started in 2001) - a special organisation for those who have been bereaved by murder Overseas Helpline 0845 123 2384 www.murdered-abroad.org.uk
Murdered Abroad Says...
A NOTE ABOUT BURIAL OR CREMATION ABROAD, REPATRIATION AND UK INQUESTS
- You may be asked if you want your loved ones remains to be buried or cremated abroad. The reparation of your loved ones body to the UK will trigger a UK Inquest.. If your loved one is cremated or buried abroad this will not happen.
This can be a difficult choice if your loved one loved the country where they were murdered or has family there (so burial abroad is preferred) but you also want to get as much information as possible to help get justice and answers after your loved ones murder.
- If your loved one has been murdered or died in suspicious circumstances, a Full Forensic Post Mortem should always be carried out after repatriation to the UK. · Although it can be distressing to think about a post mortem being carried out on your loved ones body, it can be very helpful in gathering samples for a murder investigation. It can also help to tell you about how your loved one died. A post mortem report will be written (in English). This is the same Forensic Post Mortem examination that would be carried out if someone was murdered in the UK·
A Forensic Post Mortem differs from a non-forensic Hospital Post Mortem, which is less thorough and less helpful to gather evidence that could be used in a murder investigation. It also gives less information about injuries and the cause of death. · You can request this Full Forensic Post Mortem, as the family/interested parties, if it does not take place automatically. You can also ask the Coroners Officer or Coroner to check a Forensic Post Mortem is taking place. ·
- A Forensic Post Mortem would happen before your loved ones remains are released to the funeral directors. The post mortem investigation usually takes place at a hospital.· You can ask for a copy of the UK Post mortem report, either from your Coroner or Coroners Officer, or for a copy to be sent to you, via your GP.
Reading a post mortem report yourself can be very distressing and shocking. The medial language can be difficult. In our opinion, it's best done with a friend for support. Your GP can also help go through the report with you, and explain medical terms .
E. & O. E.