Coroners Statistics 2012


Coroners’ Statistics 2012


These reports were published on the 16th May 2012 at


Executive Summary


This bulletin presents statistics of coroners’ work during the calendar year 2012, including deaths reported, post-mortems, and inquests (including those for treasure and treasure trove). These figures are used to monitor coroners’ workload, throughput of cases, and percentages of post-mortems and inquests. In previous years this report was entitled “Statistics on deaths reported to coroners, England and Wales, (year)”.


  • Some 227,721 deaths were reported to coroners in 2012, an increase of 5,350 (two per cent) from the 2011 figure.
  • The proportion of all registered deaths reported to coroners was an estimated 46 per cent in 2012, the same as in 2011. Over the last five years this proportion has been relatively consistent, within the range 46 to 47 per cent.
  • The estimated average time taken to process an inquest in 2012 (defined as being from the time the death was reported until the conclusion of the inquest, where the death occurred in England and Wales) was 26 weeks, slightly less than the last three years’ figure of 27 weeks. The maximum time taken to process an inquest in 2012 was 53 weeks, and the minimum time was eight weeks.
  • Verdicts of suicide rose by one per cent in 2012 compared to 2011, from 3,471 to 3,515.
  • Also rising were the number of unclassified verdicts, a category which includes narrative verdicts, which are a factual record of how and in what circumstances the death occurred, often returned where the cause of death does not easily fit any of the standard short-form verdicts.
  • As in recent years, the most common verdicts returned at inquests were death from natural causes (in 29 per cent of cases) and death by accident or misadventure (26 per cent).