Skip to content
Broken window icon

Fatal Incident Response

Sadly, when murders and other tragedies happen, they cause trauma to families, friends, and communities.

We stand united against violence in all its forms and this page sets out how the council manage these terrible incidents, how we support the victims' families and how we respect their needs alongside those of the wider community.

Supporting families and communities 

The council has emergency response plans in place when incidents occur in the borough. As part of those plans, we will immediately begin liaising with emergency services to respond and manage any impacts on nearby residents and the wider community. This will include, where required, activating a range of services for immediate support and assistance in the hours and days after.

Islington Council will always consider the needs of the victims and the wider community. We work very closely with the emergency services, but we also provide a family liaison officer to act as a single point of contact at the council. This helps minimise the stress to affected families and allows us to respond to their needs.  We also work closely with local community groups to see where further appropriate support can be provided.

We also focus on the impacted location, exploring a range of additional safety enhancement measures. This builds upon our weekly partnership meetings between the Council’s Community Safety Team, ASB response service, Parkguard, Targeted Youth Support and the Police.

While we take each incident on a case-by-case basis, we always strive to respond to the needs of the community, activating a range of interventions which might include holding a public meeting, enhancing our youth offer, such as helping young people manage their grief, increasing patrols, conducting weapons sweeps, initiating an Environmental Visual Audit which helps us design out crime, and signposting to other support services.

Immediate response

While the victims and the community are at the heart of our approach, in the immediate aftermath of a critical incident, there is an urgent need to prioritise support for the police investigation for the good of all. To do this, the council works closely with local and specialist police teams as well as many other partners within the council.

Following the initial communications from the Police, as soon as we are able to do so, the Council will update the community either on the incident that has occurred or on the subsequent  actions being taken to mitigate the impact. As a council we do have to be very careful with the information that is shared as this might jeapordise a police investigation or put the victims and their families at risk. As such, we are not always at liberty to share all the details of a given incident or police investigation at certain times.

Furthermore, there can sometimes be a delay in our communication with residents as we need to prioritise the police investigation. The police are the lead partners in the immediate aftermath of a critical incident, primarily responsible for communicating and acting on the immediate response, but we always endeavour to offer support and reassurance and will share what information we can as soon as it is deemed appropriate and safe. 

Memorials and vigils

It is understandable following the death of someone, particularly if they have been murdered, that the family, friends, and community may want to visit the scene and lay flowers. The council will work in collaboration to ensure that a memorial site can be facilitated in an appropriate location, with consideration given to potential impacts on road networks and communal spaces. If a memorial grows to a size where it impacts on the local community, or where there are safety concerns, then the council will ensure that we liaise with the family to arrange for the collection of items from the site or move them to a more appropriate location.

As a council we don’t actively facilitate vigils on safety grounds. This is because of the serious difficulties in managing safety when there are unknown numbers of people involved. We also must consider the wishes of the family and the broader impact on the community. However, we will always be sensitive to the needs of families and our family liaison officer will work with both the family and the police to ensure that group visits can be planned and facilitated.

The safety of our community is an absolutely priority and, once again, we stand united against violence in all its forms and always extend our deepest sympathies to family, friends, and anybody else affected by tragic events.

Let us know

If you or someone close to you is experiencing difficulties as a result of a fatal incident, please either contact your designated Family Liaison Officer or the following:

Was this information helpful?

Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.