A guide to Coroners investigations

Who is the Coroner and what is their role?

The coroner is an Officer of the Crown who is responsible for investigating what has happened when someone has died. The Coroner is assisted by Coroner’s Officers who are responsible for liaising with the bereaved, supporting the Coroner in carrying out their functions and making arrangements for inquests.

What is an inquest?

An inquest is a legal hearing to establish the circumstances of a death. The purpose of the hearing is to decide who has died, when, where and how they died.

When will an inquest be necessary?

Inquests are held when someone has died a violent or unnatural death, the cause of the death is unknown or the person has died in prison or in any place or circumstances where the law requires an inquest.

Where the police have taken proceedings as a result of a death, the Coroner will open the inquest and then wait until after the hearing in a criminal court has taken place before deciding whether or not to reconvene the inquest.

You may find these links helpful for more information about the role of the Coroner in Norfolk and Suffolk.



For younger, (primary school age) children, we can wholeheartedly recommend ‘An inquest for Mr Rabbit’ which explains the process of a Coroner’s inquest. The story tells how Mr Rabbit died on holiday in France, and what happened afterwards in simple language. With pictures by children’s illustrator Jan Barger, it measures just 80x80mm to fit easily in a pocket or bag.

Coroner for Suffolk

Coroners Office Lowestoft
2 Canning Road
NR33 0EQ
01986 835167 (Police Station)

Main contact details:
Dr. Peter Dean
H.M. Coroner
Police Station
Old Nelson Street
NR32 1EG

[email protected]

Coroner for Norfolk

The Court House
College Lane
Kings Lynn
PE30 1PQ
01553 665088
[email protected]

Main contact details:
Jacqueline Lake
H.M. Coroner for Norfolk
301 Kings Street
01603 276493

[email protected]