Call for agreed protocol for funeral directors and police on mourner numbers

15/03/2021   //   No Comments

SAIF welcomes the latest intervention by Sir John Hayes MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Funerals and Bereavement, on the issue of policing funeral services during the pandemic.  

Sir John has written to the Police and Crime Commissioners for all 43 police forces in England and Wales to highlight some of the challenges facing funeral directors with respect to caring for families whilst ensuring compliance with Covid restrictions at services. 

In his letter, Sir John describes as “troubling” reports that funeral directors have been held liable for regulation breaches “that are plainly out of their control”.

The MP also highlights reports of “direct threats of intimidation” towards funeral directors “with little or no police support in some instances”.  In one incident, funeral workers were threatened with knives at a cemetery after they refused entry to a group of more than 30 mourners.

As a way forward, Sir John says an agreed protocol is required and this should be communicated clearly with the funeral sector and police forces across the UK. Such an approach, he says, where already adopted has helped to form effective strategies to protect those working in death care.  

“Included in any guidance should be the provision of police personnel to support funeral directors and venue owners remaining compliant with Covid-19 regulations,” he said.

Sir John has also written to the Home Office on this matter and invited Police and Crime Commissioners to attend an upcoming meeting of the APPG.

The letter can be read in full here

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