Family Liaison and Witnesses

For the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) Family Liaison Officer Guide 2008 please click here.

During the investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence there is evidence to suggest that the Liaison officers did not keep the family informed on the progression of the case nor did they build a positive and supportive relationship with the family.  This meant that the Lawrence family was kept in the dark about the progression of the investigation. It would have been vital for the family liaison officers to build up a sound communication with the parents of the victim in order to gather crucial information for the investigation. Measures taken by the police forces can be accessed by clicking on the recommendations below.

In 2008/2009 the House of Commons undertook a ten year review on the Macpherson Report in which it claims that now with Britain’s improved family liaison officers their homicide detection rate is at 90%, the Home Office have described this as the ‘highest of any large city in the world.’

23. That Police Services should ensure that at local level there are readily available designated and trained Family Liaison Officers.

24. That training of Family Liaison Officers must include training in racism awareness and cultural diversity, so that families (of victims) are treated appropriately, professionally, with respect and according to their needs.


27. […] any request made by the family of a victim which is not acceded to, and any complaint by any member of the family, shall be formally recorded by the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) and shall be reported to the immediate superior officer.


29. That Police Services should together with the Home Office develop guidelines as to the handling of victims and witnesses, particularly in the field of racist incidents and crimes. The Victim's Charter to be reviewed in this context. 



© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2018