VANDALISM of graves is on the rise.
This week the central neighbourhood police team announced they would increase plain clothes patrols at Sugar Lane cemetery, in Belle Vue, in response to an increase of reports of vandalism from bereaved families.
Posters have also been put up in the area as part of a campaign to deter vandals.
Insp Richard Close, of central NPT, said: “We have been getting more reports of vandalism and anti-social behaviour at Sugar Lane, ranging from damage to graves to groups running about inside the cemetery.
“A graveyard is not a place to play, even if no vandalism is being caused. We will be stepping up patrols and would urge people to continue reporting incidents of vandalism.”
Carol Churchill, whose daughter Hayley launched a campaign for CCTV cameras at Sugar Lane earlier this year, said she was pleased that the police were acting.
She said: “The police have been absolutely brilliant in dealing with these reports.
“It is absolutely sickening of people to come and damage these graves.
“People should be able to put down tributes to their loved ones without having them stolen or vandalised.
“We will not give up this fight.”
A Facebook group campaigning against the vandalism has reached almost 600 members.
Ms Churchill appealed for people to attend a campaign meeting on Tuesday, at the Agbrigg and Belle Vue Community Centre, on Montague Street.
It will run from 4.30pm.