No trouble was reported at a funeral service in Watford that police feared would draw large crowds and breach coronavirus laws.

There was a heavy police presence in North Watford this morning for the service of a person within the traveller community who passed away.

The service was held at St Helen’s Roman Catholic Church in The Harebreaks with police officers closely guarding the scene.

Officers had warned the public a "large" funeral would be taking place in Watford, with a burial in Bedfordshire, that police said could lead to traffic disruption.

Officers were also concerned the funeral service would exceed the 30 person legal limit currently in place on attending funerals due to the pandemic.

But Hertfordshire Constabulary has confirmed the service in Watford "passed without incident".

Police vehicles in The Harebreaks

Police vehicles in The Harebreaks

Police officers in The Harebreaks

Police officers in The Harebreaks

Dozens of police officers were drafted in to patrol The Harebreaks with officers lining the street from the junction with St George’s Road up to Dell Road.

Police cars and vans were also dotted along the The Harebreaks and in side streets.

Some mourners did assemble but nowhere near the numbers police had feared.

There were no reports of any trouble in the area or at the church, with officers staying in their designated patrol zones.

Police vehicles in The Harebreaks

Police vehicles in The Harebreaks

Superintendent Nick Caveney said: "We did anticipate additional mourners arriving hoping to attend today’s funeral, as the deceased has a large family, but we were clear that we would not allow more than 30 people to attend and that was heeded.

"Thanks to our work ahead of time, the service in Watford passed without incident. In Dunstable, officers directed a group of people to leave the area, using public health regulations, issuing a handful of fixed penalty notices."

Police had liaised with the funeral directors, the church and cemetery, and the deceased's family to ensure that a maximum of 30 mourners attend the service.

The funeral service in Watford took place at St Helens Roman Catholic Church

The funeral service in Watford took place at St Helen's Roman Catholic Church

In Watford, no restrictions appeared to have been put in place on members of the public walking or driving through the area while the funeral service was ongoing at the church.

The funeral procession departed the church at around 11.30am led by police motorcyclists.

The procession of more than ten vehicles was led by an officiant who walked along Longspring towards the Dome roundabout.

He was followed by the hearse and a convoy of vehicles behind.

There were no reports of any traffic congestion in Watford with the procession believed to have headed onto the A41 towards Hemel Hempstead, and out into Dunstable.

Police vans in The Harebreaks

Police vans in The Harebreaks

Watford mayor Peter Taylor said: "The council has been working closely with the local police on this incident and we are extremely happy with the way they have handled things.

"Everyone should continue to follow the rules in place to keep Watford residents safe from the virus."

Jon Levett, chief executive of the National Association of Funeral Directors, said: "The collaborative planning between Hertfordshire Constabulary, the funeral director and the two main funeral trade bodies – with the support of the family – has shown that funeral services like the one today can go ahead without causing a public health risk and this is a good model that can be utilised across the country."