Police have been urged by a Conservative council leader to take action as a result of ‘up to 70’ mourners gathering at a funeral in Leicestershire. Councillor Phil King made the call to the authorities after seeing double the Government allowed 30 people at a funeral service in Market Harborough last Thursday.
Leicestershire Police have since stated that “additional mourners” did attend the funeral service but have insisted that the service, that was marking the life of a well known local traveller, passed off in a “safe and peaceful manner”.
Councillor King who is the leader of Harborough District Council has said: “We would have clearly told them that no more than 30 people were permitted to attend. We wouldn’t have turned a blind eye. The police have admitted themselves that over 30 people turned up. It was a service for a well-known member of the traveller community. I will be keenly waiting to discover if they take any action here and fine the people involved. The Chief Constable has got to take the appropriate action”.
The local MP Neil O’Brien said: “It’s very important that the law regarding funerals is applied equally to everybody across Harborough. I am concerned that many members of the public have made huge sacrifices this year and not been able to attend the funerals of their friends and loved ones. It’s crucial that everybody is treated equally before the law”.
A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police has said: “Police, along with colleagues from partner agencies, engaged with members of the deceased’s family prior to the funeral. The deceased’s family acknowledged the restrictions currently in place that limit the number of funeral attendees to 30 people. Officers observed that a small number of additional mourners attended to pay their respects but remained at a safe distance from one another in line with the current restrictions and the funeral took place in a safe and peaceful manner”.