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Man and woman arrested in connection with funeral director investigation

Man and woman arrested in connection with funeral director investigation

A man and woman have been arrested in connection with an investigation into a funeral director, after reports of “concern for care of the deceased”.

A 46-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of prevention of a lawful and decent burial, fraud by false representation and fraud by abuse of position, Humberside Police said.

It comes after 34 bodies were removed by police from Legacy Independent Funeral Directors on Hessle Road and taken to the mortuary in Hull.

Police cordoned off three Legacy Independent Funeral Directors after the force received a report on Wednesday of concerns about the “storage and management processes relating to care of the deceased”.

Residents reported police outside Legacy Funeral Directors in Anlaby Road and Hessle Road, both in Hull, at about 3am on Thursday, Hull Live reported.

Officers remain at both branches, as well as one in Beverley.

A direct line has been set up for anyone who may be affected.

Assistant Chief Constable Thom McLoughlin said: “We can confirm that a man, aged 46 and a woman aged 23 have been arrested on suspicion of prevention of a lawful and decent burial, fraud by false representation and fraud by abuse of position and remain in police custody at this time.

“As part of our investigation, as of today (Sunday March 10), we can confirm 34 deceased people have now been respectfully transported from Legacy Funeral Directors based on Hessle Road to the mortuary in Hull for formal identification procedures to take place.

“Since the report on Wednesday March 6, cordons remain in place at all three Legacy Independent Funeral Directors premises.

Police
Police outside the Beckside branch of Legacy Independent Funeral Directors in Hull (Danny Lawson/PA)

“The dedicated phone line remains open and has received over 350 calls from concerned members of the public since Friday.

“We continue to encourage anyone who has used Legacy Independent Funeral Directors and has concerns to call us on 0800 051 4674 or 0207 126 7619 if you are calling from abroad.

“Each call we receive is being carefully handled and delicately assessed by a specialist team to ensure we have a thorough understanding of each family’s circumstances.

“We will get back to each and every one of you as soon as we can.

“Please be reassured that my staff and officers are working around the clock to deal with the unprecedented inquiries generated as a result of this incident.

Police
Police outside the Beckside branch of Legacy Independent Funeral Directors in Hull (Danny Lawson/PA)

“Families affected continue to be supported by family liaison officers at what we appreciate is an extremely distressing time for all involved.

“These officers are also working closely with our partners to ensure that families are provided with the most appropriate care and support for their personal circumstances whilst our investigation continues.”

Victim support also has a dedicated telephone line which is available to anyone who is experiencing distress or concern and would like advice and guidance. This is available by dialling 08081689111.

Mr McLoughlin added: “On behalf of all of our police officers and staff, particularly today, on Mother’s Day, our thoughts remain with all families that have been affected because of this incident.

“I know many families will need and want much more information and we will continue to release updates as soon as we are able but cannot jeopardise the ongoing investigation in any way.

“May I take this opportunity to remind the public to show the upmost respect and privacy for any bereaved families and their loved ones within our community.”