Humberside Police hold press conference about East Riding funeral directors investigation

The Chief Officer of Humberside Police has held a press conference about the ongoing investigation into the practises of a funeral directors located in the East Riding.
Assistant Chief Constable Thom McLoughlin (left) and Deputy Chief Constable Dave Marshall (right) at press conference. Photo: Humberside Police.Assistant Chief Constable Thom McLoughlin (left) and Deputy Chief Constable Dave Marshall (right) at press conference. Photo: Humberside Police.
Assistant Chief Constable Thom McLoughlin (left) and Deputy Chief Constable Dave Marshall (right) at press conference. Photo: Humberside Police.

Deputy Chief Constable Dave Marshall said: “Firstly, I want to express my sincerest and deepest sympathies to the families involved and anyone affected by the reports relating to Legacy Independent Funeral Directors in Hull and East Riding.

“We are continuing to support the families involved through this extremely difficult and distressing time. This has been a truly horrific incident and they are understandably distraught and have many questions, and we are doing everything we can to give them the answers they desperately need.

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“I also want to take this opportunity to offer my heartfelt thanks to everybody who has called in with information, as well as our teams who continue to work around the clock to explore each of the lines of enquiries that have been generated as a result of this incident.

“This is an extremely complex and sensitive investigation, with heartbroken and devastated families at the core of it, and we are determined to make sure that we keep the families involved at the heart of everything we are doing.

Assistant Chief Constable Thom McLoughlin leading the investigation said: “Whilst I understand everyone will have questions in relation to our enquiries, I must absolutely stress that we are at critical stage and have to protect the ongoing investigation. Therefore, I am unable to provide the full details at the moment.

“However, what we can confirm is that we were called last week with reports of concern about the storage and management processes of the deceased within the Legacy Independent Funeral premises on Hessle Road in Hull.

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“We can also confirm at this stage that between Friday March 8 and Saturday March 9 we have recovered 35 deceased people who have been respectfully transported to the mortuary in Hull and formal identification procedures are now taking place.

“As part of our extensive lines of enquiries, specialist search teams of forensics are in the process of carrying out thorough and vigorous searches at various premises linked to the suspect.

“As part of the wider investigation, there is also a quantity of what we believe to be human ashes and we are in the process of carefully recovering and respectfully moving these to the mortuary.“A man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of prevention of a lawful and decent burial, fraud by false representation and fraud by abuse of position. They have since been released on police bail with conditions whilst our investigations continue.

“I recognise the concern our communities will have; however, this is an incredibly lengthy and highly intricate investigation and the extensive lines of enquiries my dedicated team of over 120 officers and staff are carrying out behind the scenes reflects the sheer large scale of this investigation.

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“The dedicated phone line remains open and has received over 1000 calls from concerned members of the public since Friday.

“We continue to encourage anyone who has concerns over the services they’ve received from Legacy Independent Funeral Directors and has not yet spoken to us, to please call us.

“Our investigations will take a considerable amount of time, however, I want to reassure the public that we are absolutely committed to carrying out a thorough investigation and our priority, as always, remains with the families involved and putting them at the heart of everything we do.

“I want to speak directly to the families affected by this truly terrible incident - my heart goes out you all at this incredibly distressing time. I know you will need and want much more information and I want to reassure you that we will provide updates as soon as we are able to, and we will do everything we possibly can to give you the answers you deserve.

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“We continue to work closely with His Majesties Coroner, Hull City Council and East Riding Council.

“A cordon remains in place at the business premises on Hessle Road and we will continue to provide updates as and when we are able to, but we ask that people refrain from speculating and show the utmost respect for bereaved families within our community.”

Deputy Chief Constable Dave Marshall said: “As you will appreciate this is a complex and large ongoing investigation which will take some considerable time to complete. We will be diligent and thorough to ensure we do everything we can to get families the answers they need.

“I want to thank all our staff who have supported this investigation to date, under very difficult circumstances.

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“Finally, as I outlined at the opening, at the heart of this investigation are the families of loved ones. Many will be shocked, horrified and retraumatised through grief following disclosure of the facts of this case. I therefore request that families are given time and space to process events of the last few days and are provided with privacy at this very difficult time.”