Questions lodged by the Scottish Liberal Democrats have revealed that a number of families have been forced to endure waits of up to 1586 days, over 4 years, for fatal accident inquiries (FAI) to be undertaken.
The longest wait between a date of death and the conclusion of evidence in FAIs topped 1300 days between 2010-11 and 2014-15. In 2016-17 it reached 695 days.
This news follows Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie’s appeal to the Lord Advocate to initiate an FAI into the deaths of Lamara Bell and John Yuill. As three years after the M9 crash one is yet to be conducted.
It also follows Liam McArthur’s letter to the Lord Advocate seeking assurances deaths in prison were being properly investigated. More detail on this is available here.
Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:
“While I understand the complexity of these investigations, in many cases families across Scotland have faced unreasonable delays in their search for answers about the fates of their loved ones.
"With respect to deaths in prison, I have already asked the Lord Advocate if he will look again at why these delays are happening and take steps to address any underlying issues, including those related to capacity within the service.
“These new figures further suggest a systemic problem. Cases that drag on or are left unanswered leave families in limbo. I urge the Scottish Government to ensure that all future fatal incidents are investigated comprehensively and without delay.”