Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, and Luton Public Health complete a suicide audit at the end of each year to review the number of suicides in Bedfordshire. These audit documents are used to inform local approaches to suicide prevention. The legal procedure that results in a death being called a suicide is lengthy, hence the audit report is published 6 to 12 months after the end of the financial year. The latest audit reports are available to download.
There were 8 suicides/open verdicts in Central Bedfordshire in 2015-2016 (7 male, 1 female), 6 suicides/open verdicts in Bedford Borough in 2015-2016 (3 male, 3 female), and there were 13 suicides/open verdicts in Luton in 2016. The majority of suicides in Bedfordshire and Luton are by middle aged men. Hanging is the most common method of suicide, with also follows the national trend.
Suicide rates England, Bedfordshire and Luton
Source: Public Health England, based on ONS source data
The number of suicides in Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, and Luton, are lower than the England average and have been moving in a downward trend. Using Public Health England’s data, Central Bedfordshire has the lowest suicide rate in England, Bedford is 16th, and Luton is 20th (out of 147 Local Authorities).
Public Health England produce the suicide prevention profile, which puts together and presents publicly available data on suicide, associated prevalence, risk factors, and service contact among groups at increased risk. This tool allows planners to profile their area and compare to similar populations. They also produce the Atlas of Variation which shows suicide rates and associated risk factors for each local authority area. Both tools are publically available.