Police fire warning about large gatherings in Bedfordshire with two funerals expected to attract many mourners

Police presence will be stepped up in the county

By Clare Turner
Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 11:23 am

Bedfordshire Police is expecting two funerals today and tomorrow (February 9 and 10) to be held which could attract numbers that exceed those permitted under the current coronavirus regulations.

A police spokesman said large gatherings in excess of these regulations "cannot be tolerated and we are therefore putting in place a proportionate policing response."

The spokesman added: "Our response will principally seek to prevent breaches from occurring through advanced engagement and explanation of the rules.

Police presence will be stepped up in the county

"We will, however, take enforcement action should our advice and direction not be followed, with excessive gatherings then resulting.

"This means that you may see an increased police presence, so we are able to respond should the anticipated concerns come to fruition.

"Taking enforcement action to disperse large groups at events is the last thing we want to do and we have engaged extensively with the organisers beforehand to try and manage the numbers of people who will attend.

"However, we are prepared to take action in order to keep people safe and save lives."

Previously, Bedfordshire Police slapped £10,000 fines on the organiser of a New Year’s Eve party near Leighton Buzzard, as well as to a man who held a funeral in Arlesey last month with almost 150 mourners.