As a police officer you may be required to report a death or fire to the Coroners Court of Victoria.
Call 1300 309 519 to contact the Coronial Admissions and Enquiries office and follow the instructions on our website to report a death.
There are several things you may need to do after reporting a death.
Preparing a coronial brief
At the time a death is reported, a coroner may have very limited information. As a result, Victoria Police may be required to assist with the investigation into a death or fire, as required by the coroner. Such assistance will usually include preparing a coronial brief.
A coronial brief should contain (if available):
- a statement of identification by an appropriate person
- any reports given to a coroner as a result of a medical examination
- reports and statements that the coroner investigating the death or fire believes are relevant to a coronial investigation
- other evidentiary material that the coroner investigating the death or fire believes is relevant to the coronial investigation
- any materials prescribed by the rules or the regulations.
A coronial brief does not include any part of a medical file that the coroner considers to be irrelevant to the coronial investigation.
The inquest brief may also include:
- initial documentation from the police officer by way of a summary of how the incident may have occurred
- medical notes/records
- protocols, procedures and policies
- maps and drawings
- opinions from experts
- the police investigator’s summary of the incident following their detailed investigation for a coroner.
If an inquest is held you may be requested to appear in court as a police witness.
Police Coronial Support Unit
The Police Coronial Support Unit is a specialist unit within the Victoria Police Prosecutions Division. The unit consists of sworn police members who are qualified prosecutors. The purpose of the unit is to help coroners in relation to coronial investigations including advocacy as a coroner’s assistant during inquests in addition to support, training and advice to operational police members.
If you have any questions about the coronial process as a police member, contact the Police Coronial Support Unit on 03 8685 1131.