POLICE have stepped up patrols around a NE Derbyshire cemetery following a number of “despicable” thefts of ornaments from graves.
Heartless thieves – branded “the lowest of the low” – have stolen several sentimental ornaments from graves in Eckington Cemetery, on Sheffield Road, over the last two weeks.
Officers from the Eckington Safer Neighbourhood Team have increased patrols around the cemetery and are urging community vigilance as well as installing CCTV in a bid to stamp out the crime.
Dale Merchant, PCSO for Eckington, said: “This is a despicable crime which can have a very distressing effect on grieving families.
“We are treating the incidents seriously and patrolling the area on a regular basis to deter those involved and to offer reassurance to those visiting the cemetery.”
Peter Staniforth, clerk of Eckington Parish Council, which owns the cemetery, said the thefts “beggar belief”.
He added: “Whoever has done this is the lowest of the low.
“It’s bad enough losing someone without having their grave desecrated.
“It upsets families and it upsets us – it’s just absolutely terrible.”
He added that the parish council would do “everything possible” to put an end to the crime.
Anyone with information about the thefts should contact 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
l Have you been a victim of this sort of crime? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.