Bishop of St Albans asks Government about recording of gambling-related suicides

On 5th March 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on gambling-related suicides:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL1786 To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford on 13 February (HL1452), what assessment they have made of the potential benefit resulting from the (1) collection, and (2) publication, of data on the number of people who commit suicide for reasons connected with gambling-related harm.

Lord Bethell: We presently have no such plans. There is currently no reliable estimate of the number of suicides linked to problem gambling in the United Kingdom, and there would be significant challenges in attempting to record this. Expecting coroners to routinely assess the motivation for individual suicides in all cases would take the coroner role fundamentally beyond its legal parameters. The coroner’s role, and in particular what they are required to ascertain and determine, is a matter of both statute and case law, and cannot be extended administratively. Any legislative change would have to be considered very carefully.

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