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NAFD response to police force fining funeral director for unexpected additional mourners turning up at funeral

With reference to this story: https://www.whtimes.co.uk/news/crime/mansfield-man-issued-with-fine-after-large-funeral-6922746

Funeral directors do not invite mourners to funerals. They work with the family to arrange the funeral and advise them of the restrictions, but it is the family that invite those people they want to be there with them. This case is one of is unexpected mourners turning up – even when the funeral director has shown evidence to us that it was made absolutely clear to the family that there was a maximum limit on attendance in line with the guidance we have issued.

Our guidance to funeral directors is to do everything in their power to make sure families understand and agree that there is a maximum number that can attend the funeral, to ensure the funeral adheres to Government guidance – and to notify the police and venue if they are in any way concerned. But they have absolutely no powers to prevent mourners from showing up or physically prevent them from entering a venue. This kind of heavy handed approach by the police risks leaving funeral directors too scared to arrange funerals in case they are prosecuted.

This is not the first time this has happened. We know of numerous incidences of funeral directors being taken to task by Police for too many people showing up at a funeral, when they have been clear, throughout with the families concerned that there is a limit they must adhere to. Having already contacted several police forces about this, we’ve now written to all Chief Constables in the UK to ask them urgently to confirm their position – because there is a real risk here that funeral directors will rightly be too scared to arrange funerals for fear of being prosecuted if people they have absolutely no powers to control show up.

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