The coroner's service

The role of a coroner is to get involved when someone has died through tragic or unexplained circumstances, establishing certain details surrounding their death. Find out more about their role, current and upcoming inquests and how to contact the service.

Coroner's service privacy notice

The purpose of this privacy notice is to advise what information is collected about individuals who use the Coroner Service in Cumbria, and how that information is used and who it may be shared with.

Data Controller

For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998 other regulations including the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (GDPR), HM Senior Coroner for Cumbria is the 'Data Controller'. It is their duty to determine what any data collected is used for, and why it is collected. 

HM Senior Coroner in Cumbria is also supported by HM Area Coroner and five Assistant Coroners.

The contact details for HM Senior Coroner, and Data Controller, for the Coroners Service in Cumbria, are:

HM Senior Coroner (Cumbria) 
Fairfield, Station Road 
Cockermouth 
Cumbria 
CA13 9PT

Email: hmcoroner@cumbria.gov.uk

Telephone: 0300 303 3180

Personal information held and the legal basis for it being used and  processed 

Where appropriate and relevant, HM Coroners Service will collect the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Medical history from GP and hospitals
  • Cause of death
  • Family details
  • Lifestyle and social circumstances
  • Addictions
  • Financial details
  • Employment and education details
  • Occupation and place of work
  • Offences and alleged offences contained in police report
  • Physical or mental health details
  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Religious or other beliefs
  • Criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences
  • Results of DNA reports and finger reports results
  • Juror information - name, address, bank account details to pay expenses
  • Witnesses - name, address, bank account details to pay expense 

When deciding what personal information we collect, use and/or hold, we are committed to ensuring that we will:

  • Only collect, hold and/or use personal information where it is necessary and fair to do so
  • Keep your personal information secure and safe
  • Securely dispose of any personal information when it is no longer needed

The data is collected because HM Coroner is required to do so under the Coroners Act 1988, the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 and its subordinate legislation, and other legislation relating to their administrative and judicial functions.

How long will your data be kept? 

Matters reported to HM Coroner in Cumbria, and that are deaths due to natural causes (Form 100A and 100B) are retained for 15 years, after which the paper documents are destroyed.  

Electronic records will be held indefinitely.

For all cases which result in an Inquest taking place are held indefinitely, in paper form and electronically, by the Cumbria Archive Service.

Why we need to collect your data 

HM Senior Coroner (and the HM Area Coroner / Assistant Coroners) must investigate all deaths which are violent or unnatural; where the cause of death is unknown; death while in custody or state detention. 

Any personal data is collected to enable them to administer the running of a Coroner's Office and carry out any statutory responsibilities under the relevant legislative frameworks.

In addition, we collect your personal data for the following:

  • Safeguarding (future prevention of death)
  • Statistical analysis and reporting 
  • Service delivery

Who do we share your data with, and why 

As all inquests are publically accessible, the relevant data will be shared with those attending the proceedings, including the press / media.

Article 23 of the GDPR introduces exemptions from the regulations of GDPR for the purpose of the protection of judicial independence and proceedings.

During the course of undertaking their statutory duties, HM Senior Coroner (and the HM Area Coroner / Assistant Coroners) may be required to share data with the following stakeholders and other organisations:

  • Cumbria County Council
  • Cumbria Constabulary / Police
  • Pathologists
  • Funeral directors and undertakers within Cumbria or where relevant outside Cumbria
  • Local Coroners - specifically where cases are transferred to/from Cumbria
  • NHS Hospital Trusts within the Coroners Area
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups covering Cumbria
  • Chief Coroner
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service
  • British Transport Police
  • North West Ambulance Service
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • GP's, Doctors and Medical Professionals
  • Accident investigation branches
  • Cumbria Registration Services (Registrar of Births and Deaths)
  • Cemeteries and Crematoria within Cumbria or where relevant outside Cumbria
  • Families affected, appointed executors and representative of the person whose personal data we are processing
  • Financial organisations such as insurance companies and pension schemes
  • Cumbria Public Health for statistical purposes
  • Other organisations which from time to time are involved with an investigation and who are required to provide evidence or assistance to the Coroner

Where your data has been received from a third party 

We primarily receive data from Cumbria Police, NHS Hospital Trusts in Cumbria, and GP's, Doctors and Medical Professionals. However, data will also be received from the other organisations listed above. The data we have includes personal details and/or sensitive classes of data.

Automated decision making 

We do not use automated decision making systems.

Will any data be transferred abroad? 

No.

Use of CCTV at HM Coroners Offices 

There are CCTV cameras installed both inside and outside the Coroners Offices at Cockermouth, and covering the car park. This is for the purposes of monitoring building security and crime prevention and detection.

Images captured by this CCTV are not retained for any longer than is necessary. However, on occasions there may be a need to keep images for longer periods, such as where a crime is being investigated. CCTV images will only be disclosed to third parties for the purposes stated above.

CCTV images will not be released to the media, used for entertainment purposes or placed on the internet.

HM Coroner in Cumbria also hosts inquests at other venues within Cumbria. Any CCTV in operation at those sites is controlled and managed by the organisations with either own, lease and/or manage those properties, and is out-with HM Coroners jurisdiction.