Police called after cemetery incident

A view of the cemetery

Slough Borough Council is warning residents that police will be called to the cemetery and crematorium if lockdown regulations are breached, following an incident earlier today (5 January).

Police were called to the Stoke Road site, owned and operated by the council, after more than 100 people turned up for a burial, in clear breach of the lockdown regulations which require there to be only 30 people in attendance and socially distanced.

It is the first time police have been called to the cemetery because of a breach of the covid regulations since the crisis began. 

Councillor Pavitar K Mann, lead member for regulatory services which includes the cemetery and crematorium, said: “Part of our role at the cemetery and crematorium is to ensure bereaved residents and their families are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect and since the beginning of the covid crisis we have been as flexible as possible so funerals can continue to take place while minimising the risk of infection.

“However with the case rates in Slough and across the country so high, the NHS under more pressure than ever before and mere hours after the prime minister placed the country in lockdown this blatant disregard for the regulations, the safety of our staff and most of all the sensitivity and safety of other mourners at the cemetery could not go unchallenged.

“There is no family, no community, no town, no cultural or religious practices where people have not had to make changes, sometimes painful and traumatic sacrifices in the effort to make sure as few people as possible are stricken with this horrible virus. 

“I call on all residents to play their part, stick to the rules – not just for themselves but for their families, their communities and Slough as a whole. But be warned, we will not hesitate to contact the police again – to protect our staff and other residents.”

Slough currently has a case rate of 1001.1 per 100,000 of the population. 85 Slough residents are currently in hospital due to covid. 

Currently regulations state there should be only 30 people at a burial (not including staff) and they should be social distanced in household groups. 

The Slough Crematorium Chapel holds a maximum of 20 people for cremation services ensuring social distancing.

Published: 5 January 2021