A family has been fined £10,000 for arranging a funeral march which saw a considerable number of mourners parading through a town centre.
About 150 people from the traveller community assembled for the funeral of Joe Rooney on Monday morning in Kettering, Northamptonshire, forcing police in riot gear to be deployed.
The popular 47-year-old, known as Gypsy Joe died after his Audi A8 collided into a tree on October 25.
Horse-drawn carriages and an entourage of seven Rolls Royces guided the procession to St Edward’s Roman Catholic Church.
Photos show enormous crowds ignoring social distancing rules as they followed the coffin to the church and police had to put roadblocks and provide a police escort as the procession brought the town centre to a deadlock.
Northamptonshire Police said that they’ve had to issue their first £10,000 penalty to the organisers for their total disrespect of COVID 19 rules.
Under the existing guidelines in England, funerals are restricted to 30 people.
Chief constable Nick Adderly emphasised that numerous people have been forced to say goodbye to their loved ones in limited numbers and difficult circumstances during the lockdown.
He added that it was quite frustrating when they see a bunch of people with no respect for other people’s safety, totally disregarding the rules and having the kind of funeral many people would love to have had but have been unable to have, just because they believe they are above the law.
Chief constable Adderly added that while he, of course, sympathises with anyone who has lost a loved one, it can’t be one rule for some people and another rule for others and that no one is above the law.
And this is why Northamptonshire Police is aspiring to issue its first £10,000 fine to the organisers of this funeral for their total insolence of the restrictions put in place to keep us all safe.
He said that this may seem like a harsh course of action to some but that he did not apologise whatsoever when he’s seen so many heartbreaking sacrifices made throughout the pandemic by law-abiding citizens that he has a duty towards.
Police attended the wake in riot gear and turned away several mourners and Chief constable Adderly claims he was pleased with how the force dealt with the matter.
Of course, funeral directors should have known better to allow this to happen, however, the travelling community have now said goodbye to their friend and family member and although we know that it’s wrong, they will be fined for it, and there isn’t much else we can do about it.
Although as a travelling community I doubt they will even consider paying the fine. It just demonstrates how wealthy they really are, not many can afford a funeral like that and if they can afford a funeral as extravagant as that, then they can afford the fine.
Mind you, saying that, the taxpayer paid 10K for that police escort, not bad considering these people weren’t causing a scene or any problems, they just wanted to give their friend a good send off and typically when there’s a funeral procession people keep out of the way out of respect.
Of course, evidently, no one is above the law, but just a reminder that Dominic Cummings decided he could travel, knowing full well he wasn’t supposed to travel, but there were no fines or consequences for him, and this is why people do what they want.
So, I’m not sure why everyone is getting their knickers in a twist about it – they disregarded the rules, they will get a fine, whether they pay it or not is a separate story.
People moan because they’re sheep, but they’ll happily send their children to school where germs are rife and go to work on the bus or the train. What does everyone think because Boris Johnson said children can go to school or we can travel to work that the virus knows not to infect us at those particular times, don’t be silly!