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Two men fined £10,000 each for organising funeral for nearly 150 people

Samuel Osborne
·2-min read
Police say fines are last resort (file image) (Matthew Cooper/PA)
Police say fines are last resort (file image) (Matthew Cooper/PA)

Two men have been fined £10,000 each for organising a funeral attended by nearly 150 people.

Bedfordshire Police fined a man in his 30s on Friday for the event, which took place the day before in Arlesey, near Stevenage.

The 41-year-old director of the funeral, from Mansfield, was also fined £10,000 for “to managing this event correctly or advising their clients of the rules”.

Current coronavirus regulations allow a maximum of 30 mourners at funerals.

Chief Superintendent John Murphy, who is leading Bedfordshire Police's response to coronavirus, said it is "disappointing" the event went ahead despite officers attempting to engage with the family beforehand.

“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,” he said.

"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."

He added that fines and enforcement are a "last resort" for police, but that they will 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".

In comes after police in London broke up a wedding attended by 150 people.

The Metropolitan Police said many guests fled as police arrived. The force initially said 400 people attended the wedding, but later revised the number down.

The organiser could face a £10,000 fine and five people who attended received £200 fines.

Police in London said Friday that they have broken up a wedding attended by 150 people — despite a nationwide lockdown that bars households from mixing.

The venue was a school whose principal died from the coronavirus last year.

The Metropolitan Police force said officers found a large number people packed into the north London school with blacked-out windows on Thursday night. The force said "following enquiries it was established that the group had gathered at the location for a wedding."

Read More

Police break up wedding with 150 guests in East London