Spy cameras call for graveyard to stop vandals

Mexborough Cemetery. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 14-05-15 Cemetery MC 3

Mexborough Cemetery. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 14-05-15 Cemetery MC 3

0
Have your say

Closed circuit television cameras could soon be fitted at Mexborough Cemetery to deal with concerns over vandalism and theft.

But it will only happen if a suitable location can be found for them.

Jill Arkley-Jevons, pictured by her sons graves which have suffered vandalism and been targeted by thieves at Mexborough Cemetery. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 14-05-15 Cemetery MC 1

Jill Arkley-Jevons, pictured by her sons graves which have suffered vandalism and been targeted by thieves at Mexborough Cemetery. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP 14-05-15 Cemetery MC 1

Police have this week confirmed they are looking into where they could position cameras to try to stop the problem, which has upset parents whose children have been targeted at the Cemetery Road site.

And campaigners with loved ones buried there say they will not stop until cameras are sorted out, and will pay for them themselves if that is what it takes.

Concerned families have now met with councillors and police to discuss what can be done, with another meeting scheduled for later this month.

And the police inspector in charge of looking after Mexborough has confirmed he wants to put cameras up if it is possible to find a suitable location.

CCTV camera

CCTV camera

Insp Richard Collingwood said experts had to find a suitable site for cameras before anything could be put in place.

But possibilities for siting cameras may include the entrance to the cemetery, or specific plots where particular issues are reported.

He said: “We are looking to see if that is something that we can do.

“It is certainly something that we are taking seriously.

“We have also altered our arrangements in the area and we have already put more patrols out in that area.

“Putting cameras there would be my preferred option - it is about whether we can find a suitable location.

“They need to be overt as it is as much about prevention as detection.”

Resident Paul Walford, who was among those who arranged the recent meetings, said residents would do all they could to get cameras in place.

Mrs Walford, who has a granfather buried in the cemetery, said: “We feel that any resources that are put there could get called away.

“We know there are mobile cameras that are used in Mexborough from time to time and we would like to see them used at at the cemetery.

“If necessary we will get together and buy a camera to put in there with our own money.

“We will try to get money together for this. We have asked for a costing.

“Mexborough has issues, but no-one has a right to invade a cemetery and steal from or damage graves. It is diabolical.”

Doncaster Council has pledged to put in place more signing, telling anyone who sees any vandalism or theft to call a telephone number.

Another meeting has been planned, and a Friends of Mexborough Cemetery Group looks set to be formed.

The next meeting will be at Mexborough Cemetery Chapel on Wednesday June 24 and 7.15pm.

Heartbroken Mexborough mum Jill Arkley-Jevons, whose sons’ grave has been one of those affected by crime, described the raid on her sons’ grave as ‘horrendous’.

Jill’s oldest son David died aged 35 nine years ago and her younger son Gary died two years ago aged 36.

She arrived at the Cemetery Road site to find items she had bought to put on the shared grave plot had been stolen.

She said: “I can’t imagine people going out and stealing from graves. How can people do this?

“It was just a terrible shock to arrive and find items had gone.

“The only thing I can do for my boys now is to buy bits and pieces for their graves, and that has been something I have done regularly. It means a lot to me.

“It is horrendous to go through this. I just don’t think whoever has done this has much of a conscience.”

She added she would love to see CCTV cameras put up at the site, and would be happy to be involved in any fundraising efforts, if that was the way forward.