A funeral with two hundred mourners defying strict lockdown measures has been busted in Birmingham. Acting on a tip off, police officers arrived at Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel to find two hundred mourners gathered under a marquee. On Friday, police had been informed of the plans for the funeral. Neighbours were interviewed by Birmingham Live, who said: “I called the police twice. They told me they’d had multiple calls. The music made the house shake and there was someone on a microphone regularly stoking up the gathering. When I came home from work in the early evening there were cars parked all over nearby roads and grass verges. My wife told me the music had started during the early afternoon, it finally went off about 8pm. It’s a disgrace.” Another local resident who was interviewed spoke of going to the hotel for a meal. However, when he arrived he found the venue’s car park was beyond capacity and people were parking on the roadside. He also spoke of seeing forty people entering the event.
Despite strict lockdown measures, the Government has given mourning families some leeway, when it comes to funerals. According to official guidelines, up to thirty people can attend a funeral. However, this is conditional on the premises having sufficient capacity to host thirty people while social distancing measures are enforced. In a statement, West Midlands Police confirmed: “We attended reports of a large gathering of around 200 people at Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel, Chester Road, on Friday evening, September 25. Officers were advised it was a funeral. We engaged with the gathering, to remind that Government guidelines apply to funerals, and the numbers dispersed.” In the aftermath, the hotel owners explained, “It came as a surprise to us, just as it did to everyone else. We obviously apologise on behalf of the hotel but we were unaware this was going to happen. As of today, the member of staff who arranged it is no longer working for us.”