We don’t have abuse of a corpse laws in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, nor Scotland, not like they do in the US. Indeed, the laws around what you can, can’t and must do with a corpse in the UK are few — so few that we’ve never managed to discover what they are. Perhaps you know?
The status of the dead body is the point at issue. A dead body isn’t property, neither is it human. So, for example, no one can rape a dead body, but there is in fact a law which criminalises sexual penetration of a corpse. It’s a different thing, you see?
In the same way, you can’t arrest a corpse for debt.
But what else can’t you do?
In the US there are state laws which forbid abuse of corpses. They vary from state to state, but in essence they all outlaw two things:
1. treating a corpse in a way which would outrage family sensibilities
2. treating a corpse in a way which would outrage community sensibilities.
If we had the same sorts of laws in the UK it is conceivable, if the Daily Mail is to be believed, that the outcome of Wednesday’s ITV exposé might have involved the police.