A Coroner enquires into those deaths reported to him or her, and it is his/her duty to discover the medical cause of any death, where this is not known, or to enquire about the cause if it was due to violence or anything unnatural.
Coroners are usually lawyers but, in some cases, may be doctors, and they are also independent judicial officers, meaning no-one can direct them as to how they should or should not behave, although there is a requirement upon them to follow the laws of the land. Each Coroner has to have a deputy and between them, they must be available at all times.
Coroners are also helped by their officers, who receive the reports of deaths and make enquiries on behalf of the coroner, liaising with bereaved families, police, doctors and funeral directors.
The cost of the Coroners’ service is met by local taxation.