'Abhorrent' thefts reported from town's grave sites

Whitwood Cemetery in Castleford. (Google Maps)
Whitwood Cemetery in Castleford. (Google Maps)

Patrols at a town cemetery are to be stepped up after reports of regular thefts from grave sites.

Sandra Steele often visits her mother’s plot at Whitwood Cemetery in Castleford, but has spoken out after planters full of bedding plants were taken, twice last year, and again recently.

Mrs Steele said: “I realise that sneak thieves are difficult to catch in the act but surely a police notice could be shown on entrance to the cemetery indicating that thieves would be prosecuted.

Ideally a camera for detection would be good but I know there are restrictions on the use of council finances.

“I hope this will urge visitors to their relatives to be vigilant and report theft. This is an upsetting incident.

“I spoke to a young woman who was passing the grave and she said several items had been stolen from her daughter’s grave, including rosary beads.

“If someone else can be warned about this then it might alert them to a possible outcome especially a pensioner spending money they might be unable to really afford.”

Glynn Humphries, spokesman for Wakefield Council said: “Any theft from a grave or memorial is abhorrent and having already spoken to Mrs Steele, we have arranged for an increase in patrols by our security team.

“We will also be looking at putting up some additional signage to deter theft.

“We would encourage any member of the public who witnesses crime or anti-social behaviour at any of our cemeteries to report it to the police or the council on 0345 8506506.