Disgust at repeated grave thefts

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CALLOUS thieves have repeatedly targeted a much-cared-for grave.

The heartless criminals have stolen from the grave at Fairmoor Cemetery near Morpeth three times in the past two weeks.

And in addition to stealing solar lights and vases, they have also damaged lights and flowers.

The shocking incidents come only weeks after widow Margaret Waterston had her car stolen from the cemetery as she tended her late husband Robert’s grave.

Mrs Waterston, whose vehicle had been parked just yards away from her, also lost a precious photograph of her brother, who died in a car accident 40 years ago. Her vehicle has since been recovered.

Morpeth North county councillor David Bawn said the incidents were disgraceful.

“It is shocking that someone would be callous enough to steal from a grave that has been tended by family members and I hope the police can crack down on this sort of behaviour. It is totally unacceptable,” he said.

“Cemeteries at the moment are run differently in Northumberland because some were owned by borough councils and some by the county and it is in the process of equalisation, but certainly if it is feasible I would be happy for extra security measures to be brought in by the council.”

Acting Neighbourhood Inspector Sharon Wilmore-Greaves has appealed for anyone with information about the latest incidents to contact police.

She said: “This mindless damage is particularly disgusting as it has happened at a cemetery and those responsible have caused damage to one of the graves.

“This behaviour will not be tolerated and we are stepping up patrols in the area and monitoring the cemetery for any signs of anti-social behaviour or disorder. If anyone sees anyone hanging around the cemetery, or if anyone has any information about this damage, they are asked to contact police as soon as possible.”

Contact police on 101, ext 69191, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.