A heartbroken daughter has been left distraught after armed police officers stormed her father’s funeral in Victoria to enforce the 10-person limit as part of the state’s coronavirus restrictions.
Helen Kolovos told 9News the two police officers showed “no respect” when they disrupted the service on Saturday, walking into the church as his his coffin was being carried out towards the end of the service.
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But the officers began counting the number of people in attendance.
“It was difficult to have to pick just 10 people to attend the funeral and make calls to relatives to let them know who could attend and who couldn’t,” she told 9News.
“It was heartbreaking to have to sit separately to members of my household, including my husband and two children, but we understand why this has to happen.
“What I can’t understand is the presence of two armed police officers inside the church. They arrived towards the end of the funeral and showed no respect for my dad as his coffin was carried out of the church.
“They didn’t stop talking, taking notes as we walked by. It interrupted the funeral, rushed us as we left and some couldn’t follow the hearse as we made our way to the cemetery. It was deeply distressing.”
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The Federal Government imposed the 10-person limit at funerals last month in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Ms Kolovos said police should have operated in a more respectful manner given the unprecedented difficult circumstances.
“It is hard enough planning a funeral, let alone during a global pandemic, and we made sure we followed all social distancing rules,” she said.
“I understand police have a job to do but we felt it could’ve been done in a more respectful and sensitive manner.”
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton did not comment on the incident today, but said officers were expected to be “respectful” at all times.
“I expect police to be respectful and mindful to any incidents they are called to.”
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