Research Article

Suicide and accidental death at Beachy Head.

BMJ 1982; 284 doi: (Published 30 January 1982) Cite this as: BMJ 1982;284:321
  1. S J Surtees


    During 1965-79, 124 deaths occurred at Beachy Head cliffs. A coroner's verdict of suicide was returned in 58. The yearly numbers increased during the period along with a reduction in the proportion of suicide verdicts. At least 115 of the deaths were almost certainly suicides, and the most likely cause for the change in the proportion of suicide verdicts was a change of coroner. The reputation of the place, the publicity given to each suicide, the accessibility of the site, and the lack of preparation required all influence the choice of this method and it may be replacing other ways of suicide locally.