POLICE have said they tried to stop hundreds of people from attending a traveller funeral in Abingdon.

Hundreds were seen attending a funeral at the Spring Road cemetery in Abingdon yesterday afternoon. 

Thames Valley Police has told the Oxford Mail it was aware of the event in advance and tried to remind those attending of the coronavirus regulations.

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The Government-enforced coronavirus restrictions mean that no more than 30 people can attend a funeral or burial, whether it is indoors or outdoors. 

The police force did admit, however, that the gathering was much 'larger than anticipated'. 

Police officers did attend the scene to try to manage the impact on the local community and the road network. 

Thames Valley Police said today it was looking into a number of offences that were committed under the Road Traffic Act. 

The force also said that there were some reports of anti-social behaviour, however, because of the 'unexpected large numbers' of people who attended 'from outside the force area' it has not been possible to trace those who attended or to 'enforce the regulations'. 

Read more about this story here: Hundreds attend traveller funeral 

Residents told the Oxford Mail that they were blocked in their driveways by trucks parked on the street.

Others said trucks and other vehicles had been parked on their drives.

One resident also said some attendees from the funeral had defecated in their garden. 

A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police, said: “A funeral took place in Spring Road yesterday afternoon involving members of a family from outside of the Thames Valley.

“We had been notified of the burial before it happened, and sought to remind those involved of the requirements under covid regulations.

"However, as those attending were travelling from outside of the Thames Valley area, details of the numbers who ended up travelling as part of the cortege had not been confirmed to us, and were larger than anticipated.

“Our officers were in attendance to manage the impact on the local community and the road network.

“They carried out enforcement activity with regards to four vehicles which obstructed the highway and we are pursuing offences under the Road Traffic Act.  

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“Some residents were affected by the obstruction of the highway, however overall there was no further impact on the wider community.

“We are aware of some reports of anti-social behaviour but no individuals could be traced in relation to these reports.

“Thames Valley Police remains committed to engaging with the public around coronavirus restrictions, and enforcing where necessary. However, on this occasion, due to the unexpectedly large numbers who attended from outside the force area, it has not been possible for officers to trace those who attended or to enforce the regulations.”