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Coroners privacy notice

This document is in relation to Data Protection and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018. This document only applies to data relating to living people, and it will inform you on how we hold your data and why.

1 Why we can process your data

The Law states to use your data we must have one of the following reasons:

  1. When it is our legal duty
  2. When we have official authority or it is in the public interest

The Legislation that allows Coroners to process data is:

  • The Coroners and Justice Act 2009
  • The Notification of Death Regulation 2019
  • The Coroners (Investigation) Regulations 2013
  • Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984

2 Data held by the Coroners Service

Data is supplied to HM Coroner in relation to sudden, unexpected, unknown or violent deaths. Information is processed by the Coroners staff who conduct enquires at the direction of the Coroner surrounding the death. The information is adduced from paper referrals, onto the Coroners case system.

The Coroner may hold personal data on you at two different categories of an identifiable natural person

  1. In relation to a deceased person - living persons 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 (direct identification). It can also be possible to piece together information about living persons from data you may hold on a deceased person (indirect identification)
  2. Our office will also hold information on many other people that they are in contact with during the course of normal coronial business, such as local authority employees (including coroners’ officers), police officers, ambulance staff, pathologists, jurors, registration staff, GPs, NHS staff, solicitors, funeral directors, witnesses and expert witnesses, members of the public, interested persons, etc. This is likely to be in the form of direct identification

3 How long will we keep your data?

Regulation 27 of The Coroners (investigations) Regulations 2013 states that we must keep records in relation to post mortem and Investigation’s for a minimum of 15 years. Should an Inquest be required a paper file will be produced, and the Inquest file may be retained indefinitely within the county archives.

West Northamptonshire Council uses a secure confidential shredding service to dispose of all sensitive shredding.

4 Data breaches

In the event of data breach, the breach will be reported HM Senior Coroner and to West Northamptonshire County Councils Data Breach and Notification Policy. HM Senior Coroner must inform the Chief Coroner’s Office of the data breach within 72 hours.

5 Data Controller

The data controller for Northamptonshire Coroners Service is Mrs Anne Pember, HM Senior Coroner. Each Assistant Coroner are Data Controller’s in their own judicial capacity for each case they are judicially responsible for.

5.2 We will securely dispose of your information in line with the Council's Retention Schedules.

6 Sharing coronial information with others

There are many different sorts of persons or agencies with whom a coroner or coroners’ officer or member of staff on behalf of the coroner shares data (either by providing or receiving data) when conducting a pre-investigation or an investigation and inquest. Examples are the police, GPs, NHS Trusts, medical professionals, next of kin, IPs etc. This data is shared in the purposes of the specific coronial investigation and so the judicial processing is necessary for the administration of justice.

Data may be shared with other relevant stakeholders including Local Authorities, Emergency planners, Alcohol and drug teams etc.

7 Data subject access requests (SAR)

There is an absolute exemption from the various data subject rights and the obligations in the GDPR where personal data is processed by a coroner acting in a Judicial Capacity.

You are entitled to limited information which we may hold in respect of data held under Non-Judicial activity.

You may write to the Coroner for Northamptonshire should you wish to ascertain what details she may hold (details below).

The Coroner will decide on whether your information falls under the Judicial Capacity or Non-Judicial Capacity.

8 How to contact us

You may write to us at:
Northamptonshire Coroners Service
Constabulary Block
Angel Street

email: [email protected]

9 Complaints or queries

We would encourage people to contact us if they feel our privacy policy is unfair or inaccurate or if you’ve been subject of a data breach.

Please email [email protected].

If you would like further information about how we use your personal information, or you wish to exercise one of your data rights or you wish to complain about the use of your personal information please contact the Data Protection Officer.

If you are still dissatisfied once you have contacted the Data Protection Officer, you have the right to complain to the ICO.

The ICO’s address:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Helpline number: 0303 123 1113

9 Changes to this privacy notice

9.1 Privacy notices are live documents, which will be updated or revised in line with legislation.

Last updated 06 July 2023