Family liaison co-ordinator tells of the ‘destroying’ impact carrying a knife can have
PUBLISHED: 08:20 31 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:20 31 May 2017
From “hysterically screaming” to keeping unusually calm, a family liaison co-ordinator describes his experiences of working with those who are left behind after a loved one is killed.
Losing a family member at the hand of another is one of the most traumatic experiences anyone could go through, leaving their questions unanswered and a chance to say goodbye taken away.
The family liaison co-ordinator for the East Area Command Unit, made of police units in Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge, has been at the forefront of the internal battles people have been fighting following a death.
The co-ordinator, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “Whenever something like this happens, family are appointed a liaison officer so they are not going round and round in circles asking lots of people what’s going on with the court case.
“The person assigned to them is their point of contact who can offer them support and explain what is and what will happen as time goes on.
“These people are going through so much and this role is to make their lives a bit easier.”
Tributes flooded in for 20-year-old Hosam Eisa, including from his girlfriend Salma Begum, 19, who described him as an “amazing person”, after he was stabbed to death at The Brewery car park on May 18.
Four days later, two men, both in their 20s, were stabbed in two separate attacks, one in Waterloo Road, Romford, and the other in Whitchurch Road, Harold Hill.
The liaison officer said: “I’ve been brought in after the families have been told their child or sibling has died but I’ve also had to give the news as well.
“Families react in different ways, from the hysterically screaming to being very very calm - that’s human nature.
“We don’t know what we are walking into but you can’t forget you are not part of the family.
“You do get close to some people, but this is our job and our main aim is to make sure they’re alright.
“Once a case has ended, usually they won’t want to get in touch, because you’re a reminder of a terrible time in their lives.
“It’s easy to say don’t carry knives but you’ve got to think of the massive picture.
“You’re not only taking away one person’s life, but destroying their family’s and your own.”