Date lodged: 21 March 2019
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answers to questions S5W-21302 and S5W-21303 by Humza Yousaf on 26 February 2019, what its position is on expanding the role of the family liaison officers beyond the duty to communicate with family and relatives when a Police Scotland investigation is required, including by (a) providing assistance with liaison with foreign jurisdictions and (b) offering other ongoing support.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 2 April 2019
How and when Family Liaison Officers (FLOs) are deployed is a matter for Police Scotland.
The primary roles of a Police Scotland Family Liaison Officer are to provide information to and signpost support for the family in a sensitive and compassionate manner in accordance with the needs of the investigation; to gather evidence and information from the family in a manner which contributes to the investigation and preserves its integrity; and to secure the confidence and trust of the family thereby enhancing their contribution to the investigation.
The role of an FLO can only include communication on behalf of a foreign police service when Police Scotland have been asked to do so by that service as they may not be the holders of key information related to the investigation.
However, I am keen to explore this issue further and await the report from the All-party UK Parliamentary Group on Deaths Abroad and any views they may take.