Wolverhampton City Council is working with West Midlands Police to try and catch heartless thieves who have stolen items from cemetery gravesides.

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There have been a small number of incidents reported at Bushbury Cemetery and Hall Green Cemetery in the past fortnight where tributes left at the graves of dead children have been stolen.

The items taken include lanterns and statues.

The council, which manages the cemeteries, has an excellent relationship with the local police who patrol the sites regularly.

Both agencies are doing all they can to put a stop to the incidents and catch the culprits.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Services, said: "It is shocking to think that anyone could contemplate stealing from a graveside, but sadly there are heartless people out there that do.

"We do discourage people from leaving items of monetary or sentimental value at gravesides because cemeteries are open to the public and unfortunately the sad reality is that such items can be targets for thieves.

"That said, we are doing all we can to stop these thefts which cause huge upset to grieving families. All staff are being extra vigilant, we have CCTV and we're putting signs up around the sites to remind people that the police are patrolling."

PC Paul Johnson, from Bushbury and Low Hill Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "Such thefts are rare, but we take them very seriously due to the enormous distress they cause.

"We patrol the sites day and night, both overtly and covertly. We have access to the cemeteries 24 hours a day to try and stop these horrible offences and try and apprehend people and make them answer to a court for their actions."

  • released: Friday 7 November, 2014