Search

Camden campaign for out-of-hours coroner service for Jewish and Muslim families wins minister’s backing

10:00 21 July 2014

Meeting about the future of West Hampstead police station at West Hampstead library 07.03.13. Cllr Abdul Hai

Meeting about the future of West Hampstead police station at West Hampstead library 07.03.13. Cllr Abdul Hai

Polly Hancock

A government justice minister has thrown his weight behind a Camden councillor’s campaign for overnight and weekend coroner’s services to be rolled out nationally to meet the needs of Jewish and Muslim families.

Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes, who is responsible for the government coroner’s and burial policy, vowed to look into standardising out-of-hours services in a meeting with Cllr Abdul Hai, Camden cabinet member for customers, communities and culture.

Camden’s weekend and evening services were withdrawn after Mary Hassell was brought in as senior coroner for inner north London, which covers Camden, Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets, in May last year.

The move was met with anger from Muslim and Jewish communities, who believe they must bury their dead the same day if possible. For more than a year Cllr Hai has lobbied for better cultural understanding, out-of-hours availability and non-intrusive post-mortem techniques.

“In a way, the coroner’s services indirectly discriminates against a section of our community,” he told the Ham&High.

“I was reassured by Simon Hughes that he is looking to introduce a 24/7 service. There should be clearer guidance for people who are at their most vulnerable at a time when we should show compassion.

“Mr Hughes recommended I come up with what I wanted the government to put in place so we can have consistency and so there is no postcode lottery.”

An aid told Cllr Hai in an email that deputy Lib Dem leader Mr Hughes agreed with his suggestions following a meeting last month.

The aid wrote: “Many thanks for your suggestions. I know they are in line with the minister’s own thoughts on coronial services.”

A spokesman for the chief coroner, Judge Peter Thornton QC, said: “The chief coroner is working to ensure that coroners receive the guidance and training they need so that there is a more consistent service that supports bereaved families.

“The chief coroner is currently considering the issue of out of hours cover for London.”

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 16:29
A view of the proposed development from Maygrove Peace park

The final plans for what would be one of West Hampstead’s tallest towers have been made available to the public after Camden Council submitted the planning application.

Yesterday, 16:00
Pupils dress up for Highgate Primary School's nativity play. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A primary school put its own spin on a traditional nativity play by recruiting three Marys, three Josephs and a talking donkey.

Yesterday, 15:00
La Sainte Union pupils sing Christmas carols. Picture: Dieter Perry

Schoolgirls raised their voices in song to treat a church congregation to Christmas carols at a festive concert.

Yesterday, 13:00
Camden families have been defying new government rules and taking their children on holidays during school term time. Picture: PA File.

Dozens of Camden families have defied new government rules banning pupils from going on holiday during school term time, new figures reveal.

Most read news

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition