In the Media

ACPO statement on police investigation of assisted suicide

PUBLISHED February 24, 2013

ACPO lead on homicide Chief Constable David Crompton said:

"The police service is responsible for investigating cases of encouraging or assisting suicide, whether the actual suicide takes place in the UK or abroad and whenever we receive information or intelligence about such a case, these investigations are pursued.

"Following renewed guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service, ACPO has developed specific guidance for police officers investigating such cases.

"The guidance encourages investigators to engage with the CPS at the very early stages of an encouraged or assisted suicide inquiry.

"When the police are informed of suicides that have taken place abroad this involves enquiries that lead to consideration of jurisdictional issues which can be complicated by other nations legal systems. Furthermore the progress of any investigation in part relies on the co-operation of foreign police services and agencies.

"It also requires any UK police force to be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt the circumstances under which the person died and this can be difficult, particularly if burial or cremation has already taken place."