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Organiser of funeral attended by almost 150 people gets £10,000 fine

22 Jan 2021

A man has been issued with a £10,000 fine after almost 150 mourners attended a funeral, breaching coronavirus guidelines.

We were made aware of a funeral taking place in Arlesey yesterday (Thursday), and worked closely with family members and partner agencies to ensure the safety of those attending.

Under the current government restrictions, only 30 people are allowed to attend a funeral for public safety.

This was reiterated to the family organising the funeral beforehand and it was explained that clear breaches would result in the regulations being enforced.

A man in his 30s was subsequently issued with the fine by officers today (Friday).

Chief Superintendent John Murphy, who is leading our response to coronavirus, said: “It is disappointing that after so much engagement with those organising the funeral prior to the event, that we have had to take action both to disperse the group yesterday and then take the further steps we have done today.

“We understand the past 10 months have been extremely difficult for everyone and that people need to mourn the loss of their loved ones with dignity and respect.

“However, public health remains our number one priority. The NHS is under significant pressure and coronavirus infection rates remain extremely high.

“During these unprecedented times, people have had to make huge sacrifices, and an event of this size shows a lack of respect for those who have been unable to attend the funerals of loved ones or say goodbye in a way that they would have wished to.

“Fines and enforcement are a last resort for us, and we will always engage and work with families in the first instance. But we need to take firm action against those who brazenly decide to go against the guidelines outlined by the government and put a large number of people at risk.

“Thank you to those who continue to adhere to the government guidelines, by staying at home and preventing the spread of coronavirus.”

Yesterday’s funeral had links to Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire Constabulary issued a £10,000 fine to a funeral director this morning, in relation to the same event.

We were also made aware of a funeral in Dunstable today (Friday) and an operation was put in place to ensure the safety of those attending. Two men were arrested at the event in Dunstable on suspicion of disorder.

For more information on the current Covid-19 guidelines and what you can and cannot do under the national lockdown, you can visit the government website.

Anyone wishing to report a breach of Covid-19 guidelines can do so via the online reporting tool.

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