Northamptonshire Police say they're planning to issue their first £10,000 fine after a funeral in Kettering breached the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
Police officers were deployed to the town centre at about 9am yesterday morning (Monday 9 Nov) following reports that a large procession was making its way through the town.
Officers acted quickly to ensure that there was minimal disruption to the local community and that road blocks were put up to prevent the procession from travelling into certain areas.
Now the Force is seeking to issue the organisers of the funeral with a £10,000 fine for their blatant disregard of the restrictions.
The Northants Chronicle reported that more than 150 travellers had gathered in Kettering for the funeral of Joe Rooney.
The 47-year-old, known across Corby as 'Gypsy Joe', died in a crash between Stanion and Geddington last month.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley, said many people had been forced to bury their loved ones in very different circumstances during the pandemic.
“There have been limited numbers allowed, people who have been unable to attend and say goodbye, social distancing enforced throughout the service, and the opportunity to have a proper wake to celebrate that person’s life not allowed.
“These sacrifices have been incredibly hard for people to make but they have made them in the interests of protecting each other and their communities from a deadly virus that has killed more than one million people worldwide.
“While I of course sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one, it cannot be one rule for some people and another rule for others, and no one is above the law.
“This is why Northamptonshire Police is seeking to issue its first £10,000 fine to the organisers of this funeral for their total disrespect of the restrictions put in place to keep us all safe.
“This may seem like a harsh course of action to some but I do not apologise whatsoever when I have seen so many painful sacrifices made throughout this pandemic by law-abiding citizens I have a duty towards.”