Jewish groups have praised the Government for “listening and responding” to concerns about the slow turnaround time of bodies for burial in north London, after it launched a review of the service.
News follows a meeting with Justice Secretary Michael Gove two weeks ago, during which community leaders pushed for an out-of-hours service to bypass delays caused by coroners’ weekday working hours.
Together with Justice Minister Caroline, Gove ordered a review of out-of-hours coroners’ services “to make sure they are sensitive to the needs of the whole community, including those whose beliefs require burials to take place quickly”.
Stamford Hill spokesman Rabbi Avroham Pinter said: “The out-of-hours service was particularly important to us.”
Pinter and others again raised “problems” with North West London Coroner Mary Hassell, saying: “If something is ready for signing on a Friday at 4.30pm, she’ll refuse to do it. We raised this at the meeting, and we’ve been particularly happy and impressed by the immediate response. It’s good to see that the Government is listening and responding the needs of the different faiths.”
The Ministry of Justice is working with the Chief Coroner, London local authorities and the Metropolitan and City police on the issue, which comes after changes were introduced permitting less invasive post-mortem examinations and speeding up the release of bodies after post-mortem examination.