Four arrested at Rookwood Cemetery as Western Sydney leader calls for fairer approach to funerals
NSW Police made arrests at Rookwood Cemetery. Police say they had reports of 80 to 100 people attending a funeral, but a Western Sydney leader says the enforcement of the 10-person rule threatened to ruin the community's relationship with police.
314-hectare cemetery on Wednesday to a funeral that had more than 10 mourners in attendance.The ABC web site reported NSW Police were called to the
There were two other burials happening in the same section of the cemetery at about the same time.
Under the public health orders, up to 10 people can attend indoor or outdoor funerals, but only if you are a spouse, partner, parent, child or sibling of the deceased person.
Anwar Elahmad from south-west Sydney was there visiting his father's grave, but told the ABC one of the people being buried was his wife's uncle, who had contracted COVID-19 around six weeks ago.
When police arrived, Mr Elahmad said he approached a senior officer to ask him to allow one of the three funerals, which was stalling, to go ahead.
NSW Police said officers from Auburn, Burwood, Bankstown and Campsie stations, as well as the riot squad, were sent to the cemetery following reports there were 80 to 100 people there.
In a statement, NSW Police said most people dispersed as asked, but four men refused and were arrested.
"Police worked with the family during this difficult situation. The family nominated the 10 people who could stay, the remaining attendees were asked to leave," they said.
"The four men below refused to leave giving police no option but to arrest."