Privacy statement for coroner service
The Bedfordshire and Luton Coroner is appointed by Central Bedfordshire Council.
The Bedfordshire and Luton Coroner is a separate entity to the council and is and independent judicial officer, holding office under the Crown and is obliged to carry out her duties in accordance with the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 and the Coroners (Inquests) Rules 2013.
Coroners investigate deaths that have been reported to them if it appears that:
- the death was violent or unnatural
- the cause of death is unknown
- the person died in prison, police custody, or another type of state detention
In these cases, coroners must investigate to find out, for the benefit of bereaved people and for official records, who has died and how, when, and where they died.
Disclaimer and privacy statement
The content of these pages are provided as an information guide only. No responsibility is accepted by or on behalf of Her Majesty’s Coroner for Bedfordshire & Luton for any errors, omissions, misleading statements on these pages or on any site to which these pages connect, including any feature or aspect of such site or pages whether provided by the coroner, Central Bedfordshire Council, any Departments or Agencies of Her Majesty’s Government or any other organisation, company or individual.
HM Coroner for Bedfordshire & Luton can be contacted at:
The Court House
What information do we hold?
The work of HM Coroner is undertaken as part of their judicial activities. This includes when a member of staff, police officer or other appointed investigator, is carrying out activities in pursuit of the coroner’s statutory powers and responsibilities.
This work involves determining who the Deceased was, when and where and how they died and to record the Registration Particulars to enable Death Certification. We are a Court of Record and we progress from preliminary enquiries to investigation and to Inquest as the evidence is considered. Inquests are public hearings. This is an aspect of the constitutional right to open justice.
The Coroners and Justice Act 2009 and The Coroners (Investigations) Regulations 2013 allow us to process personal data.
HM Coroner collects information solely for the investigation of deaths referred.
Data of the deceased, is held comprising comprehensive information, including the circumstances of the death, the cause of the death and medical history together with identification evidence from third parties (visual/DNA/fingerprinting/odontology etc).
We hold personal data on two different categories of identifiable natural person:
- in relation to a deceased person. Living people can often be identified from the data which is held on a deceased person, for example the deceased’s Next of Kin, or their doctor or solicitor. It can also be possible to piece together information about living persons from data we hold on a deceased person
- we also hold information on many other people that we are in contact with in the course of the Coroner's work and investigations. Including staff, police officers, NHS staff, solicitors, ambulance staff, pathologists, witnesses and expert witnesses, specialists, jurors, other local authority officers, members of the public and Interested persons, etc
In both categories personal information including contact details required for investigations are held and S47 Coroners & Justice Act defines ‘Interested Persons’. Some of this information may include special category personal data. All of this information is held securely.
GDPR and personal data rights
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides individuals with rights concerning their personal information, such as the right to request a copy of information held by the organisation that has processed it or to request it be rectified or erased. Those rights do not apply where your personal data is processed by the judiciary exercising judicial functions.
There is an absolute exemption from the various data subject rights where personal data is processed by a coroner acting in a judicial capacity, however you may make a request to HM Coroner regarding any data held. Any such request can be submitted to email@example.com. Whether HM Coroner will agree to your request will depend on the specific circumstances and we will communicate the outcome to you.
The Information Commissioner (ICO) does not have competence over the processing of personal data when it is carried out by HM Coroner acting in their judicial capacity. Supervision of judicial processing, including that carried out by HM Coroner, is by the Judicial Data Protection Panel.
Should a data breach occur, the Coroner Service will follow the Central Bedfordshire Council Data Breach and Notification Policy. The Senior Coroner will also inform the Chief Coroner within 72 hours.
Complaints or queries
We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading, or inappropriate, or if we have had a personal data breach. We would also welcome any suggestions for improving our procedures.
If you have concerns about how your personal data was processed by the judiciary exercising judicial functions you should contact the Judicial Data Protection Panel. The panel can be contacted via the Judicial Office Data Privacy Officer at:
Thomas Moore Building
Royal Courts of Justice
Or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information can be found in the Judicial Data Processing Complaints Handling Policy.
Freedom of Information (FOI)
HM Coroner is not a public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) which means it is not obliged to respond to FOI or EIR requests; however, it will attempt to provide statistical information in the public interest where possible.
The Coroner abides by a separate legislative regime relating to disclosure of documents by coroners which are set out in the Coroner Inquest Rules 2013.
Changes to this privacy notice
We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated December 2019.
Visitors to the website
No personal data is gathered automatically by HM Coroner for Bedfordshire & Luton when someone visits this website.