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Breaking bad news

As a journalist there’s a good chance you will have been to interview a recently bereaved reader after a road smash or some other tragedy.

It’s never easy and nothing can prepare you for your first “death knock”.

But what about the police who have to knock on people’s doors and actually break the sad news?

Even hardened, trained, experienced officers find it difficult to remain detached.

With fatal accidents, death comes from nowhere and is hard to deal with.

So how do the police prepare themselves? What do they say to people who have lost a loved one but have no idea?

Is training and counselling available for officers? And what do they, themselves, think to that part of their job?