Relatives plea to stop thefts

PC Matt Catlow protrols Rastrick Cemetery after a spate of thefts during my visit around Brighouse with him
PC Matt Catlow protrols Rastrick Cemetery after a spate of thefts during my visit around Brighouse with him

RELATIVES who have loved ones buried in Rastrick Cemetery have asked thieves to leave their plants alone.

Notices have been placed on the Chapel of Rest in the cemetery and on some of the graves saying: “Please don’t take plants and flowers from the graves in this cemetery. We place them with love on the graves of our dear ones who have died. We have been through great sadness. Please don’t add to our pain.”

The cemetery in Carr Green Lane has been plagued with a number of thefts from graves for the last couple of years.

One couple whose son is buried there said they had noticed that people had stopped taking plants down and started taking plastic flowers. “We have visitors who attend to the grave and bring flowers and we feel bad when they are stolen. But you don’t want to say to people don’t take any down. I would rather leave £10 on the top of the stone and say to the thief take this and leave the flowers instead of upsetting people.

“Our son’s grave has been targeted four times. You start to feel it is personal. We have even taken the handles off the basket to stop people taking them and taken the plastic off so the flowers don’t look new. Just anything we can do to not encourage them to take them.

“This may sound pathetic to some people but something as little as this is so upsetting. You can’t accept this.”

The couple who live in Rastrick wished not to be named for fear of repercussions. “We have since contacted the police and PC Matt Catlow has been dropping in to keep us up-to-date about the situation. He has shown to us that his heart is in the job and the community is what he is bothered about.”

PC Catlow, who is community beat officer for Rastrick, patrols the area whenever he is on shift and has been discussing what actions can be put in place to deter the thieves including cutting back the foliage.

Calderdale Council has already ruled out CCTV and PC Catlow said putting up a fence and locking the gates would also not help.