£10,000 fine handed to organisers of remembrance service that saw 150 attendees

Police say there have been reports of an 11-year-old schoolgirl being approached in Stanley Road. Picture: Archant

A £10,000 fine was given to organisers of a service of remembrance event in Great Offley - Credit: Archant

A £10,000 fine was given to the organisers of a large gathering near Hitchin over the weekend, as approximately 150 people turned up for a service of remembrance event.

Herts police had been made aware of a large scale event taking place at a premises in Great Offley on Saturday, February 20.

On arrival at Hitchin Yeshiva, in Welbury House, officers found a large group gathered for a service of remembrance event. In total, officers say around 150 people had attended the address throughout the day.

Current restrictions under COVID-19 laws say that gatherings of up to six people are permitted at wakes or celebrations of life events. A total of 30 people are allowed to attend funerals under current rules.

North Herts Safer Neighbourhood Chief Inspector Jon Roche said: “We sympathise with anyone who is grieving the loss of a relative at this time and understand that it is really difficult not being able to mourn in the way you normally would, but we all have to remember that the rules are in place for a reason and the vast majority of people are doing the right thing.

“The lockdown rules are clear and we all have a moral duty to play our part and help save lives. Breaching the regulations sets us all back and is the wrong thing to do when so many others have made sacrifices. The £10,000 fine should act as a real deterrent – we will act and fine those who are blatantly flouting the law.”

Police also say officers are continuing to patrol areas of high footfall in our county, and are working with COVID marshals, local authorities and businesses to ensure coronavirus laws are being followed.

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