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LARGE FUNERAL: Increased police presence in Watford ahead of funeral

 Published on: 23rd February 2021   |   By: Lizzie Ellis   |   Category: Uncategorized

Residents in Watford are advised to expect an increased police presence in the area ahead of a funeral today (Tuesday, February 23) which could attract high numbers of mourners.

Under the current coronavirus laws, a maximum of 30 people are permitted to attend a funeral service.

Hertfordshire Constabulary has been liaising with family members, funeral directors, church, local authority and other agencies ahead of today’s funeral in North Watford.

Superintendent Nick Caveney: “The deceased person has a large family and it is likely that well over the permitted 30-people will attempt to attend the funeral.

“Whilst our sympathies are with the bereaved family at what is understandably a very difficult time, observing lockdown rules is absolutely paramount, to help stop the spread of the virus and save lives.

“We anticipate some disruption in the local area, including possible traffic congestion. We recognise the likely impact on local residents and businesses and will work to minimise this wherever possible.

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “Unfortunately, despite the threat of COVID-19, this funeral is likely to bring many mourners to the area. The police are doing everything they can to ensure that there is minimal impact on Watford residents and we are supporting them in this. 

“Safety is our number one priority, which is why the police are taking precautions and will be increasing police presence in north Watford before, during and after the funeral. Although we sympathise with the bereaved, we have made it very clear that large gatherings will not be tolerated and we expect COVID-19 rules to be followed by everyone.”

Superintendent Nick Caveney added: “We will not tolerate large gatherings in excess of the regulations and we are putting a proportionate policing response in place. All agencies are working to prevent breaches from occurring by engaging ahead of time with family members. The funeral directors will be working to keep the number of mourners inside the church to within the 30-person limit.

“In policing the pandemic, Hertfordshire Constabulary is following the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) guidelines in applying the coronavirus regulations in our response to any breaches. Our officers are well-briefed on what this entails and are moving through the four Es of engagement, explaining, encouraging and finally enforcing the coronavirus regulations if necessary. It is always our intention to seek prevention first and enforcement last.”

He added: “Our colleagues in Bedfordshire Police have liaised with the cemetery, which is also looking to keep numbers limited for the burial.”

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