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Man and woman arrested after police raid funeral home and remove 34 bodies

A man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of fraud and the prevention of a lawful and decent burial after police removed 34 bodies from a funeral home in Humberside.

Humberside Police arrested a man, aged 46 and a woman, aged 23, in connection with an investigation into Legacy Independent Funeral Directors in Hull.

Concerns were first raised on Wednesday when police received a report from a member of the public about the storage and management processes relating to the “care of the deceased”.

The funeral home, on Hessle Road, was closed while officers carried out enquiries and a number of bodies were subsequently removed from the site.

Police outside the Hessle Road branch of Legacy Independent Funeral Directors (PA Wire)
Police outside the Hessle Road branch of Legacy Independent Funeral Directors (PA Wire)

In a statement on Sunday afternoon, Humberside Police said that 34 deceased people have now been transported from the funeral home to the Hull mortuary for formal identification to take place.

The suspects have been arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation and fraud by abuse of position and remained in police custody on Sunday.

Police cordons remain in place at all three Legacy Independent Funeral Directors: two in Hull and one in Beverley, also in East Yorkshire.

Police are urging anyone who has used the funeral home and has concerns about their loved ones to contact them immediately.

A dedicated phone line was set up on Friday and officers have since received more than 350 phone calls from concerned members of the public.

Officers are working with local councils and the coroner.

Thom McLoughlin, assistant chief constable of Humberside Police, said: “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.

Legacy Independent Funeral Directors (Google Maps)
Legacy Independent Funeral Directors (Google Maps)

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

“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.”

Humberside Police also said victim support also has a dedicated telephone line which is available to anyone who is experiencing distress or concern following this report and would like advice and guidance. The number is 0808 16 89 111.

ACC 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 utmost respect and privacy for any bereaved families and their loved ones within our community.”