Jeremy Browne MP writes: Supporting those who have lost loved ones overseas

Losing a loved one is a difficult and sad burden to bear. But when that death is under suspicious circumstances abroad, the situation can be even more bewildering and traumatic.

During my time as a Minister in the Foreign Office, I have met a number of families who have had a relative murdered in a foreign country. Speaking to these families, MPs and NGO’s highlighted to me the need for the Foreign Office to do more to support these families in difficult times. I made a commitment to Parliament last year to review the support we offer for British nationals who are victims of crime overseas.

Yesterday, I announced a new Foreign Office initiative which will focus our efforts initially on those families bereaved by a murder abroad. We will now be providing more practical and emotional support to these families, working closely with the Victim Support’s National Homicide Service to improve the assistance available.

Nearly 6,000 British nationals die abroad each year and around 60 of those are the victims of murder or manslaughter.

The Foreign Office is now providing an £100,000 annual grant to Victim Support which will enable them to expand their services for bereaved families, such as travel costs, translation and interpreting services and repatriation costs.

Although we cannot change the terrible circumstances, I hope that this new initiative will help bereaved families find support and a measure of comfort in seeking justice and returning their loved ones home.

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