Reports made by coroners to help prevent deaths are to be routinely published online, the chief coroner's office has announced.
From today, so-called 'preventing future deaths' reports drawn up by coroners for the benefit of individuals, organisations or public bodies will be easily available to any member of the public.
Some 600 reports are now made by coroners in England and Wales every year. The topics they cover range from reports about speed limits on particular roads to changes in military equipment used in Afghanistan.
Since July last year, all reports and responses have had to be sent to the chief coroner.
His Honour Judge Peter Thornton QC, the chief coroner, said: 'I place great emphasis on the valuable work of coroners in saving lives by highlighting risks which need to be eliminated. That is why publishing these reports and putting them into the public domain is so important.'
Professor Kieron O’Hara, chairman of the Crime and Justice Transparency Sector Panel, welcomed wider publication.
'Little by little, transparency is improving governance in the UK and elsewhere. This is one more promising example of the potential for information published online in searchable, accessible formats to contribute to the public good, and is extremely welcome.
'We need to push for transparency and openness to become the default, where feasible, so that our collective wisdom is available to all, not hoarded.'
Preventing future death reports are available at the Judiciary website.