Dismay as wreaths are stolen from cemetery

David Robson with fiancee Jan Speed at Landican Cemetery.

David Robson with fiancee Jan Speed at Landican Cemetery.

First published in News Exclusive by

A PENSIONER was left heartbroken after festive wreaths were stolen from his parents’ final resting place.

David Robson was shocked to discover that six wreaths had been stolen from the plot where his family’s ashes are scattered at Landican Cemetery before Christmas.

The 67-year-old had gone to the Birkenhead cemetery to take the floral arrangements for his late mother, father and brother but found that that the wreaths which his sister left just two days previously had disappeared.

David was later told by another relative that the wreaths he had taken to the cemetery had also gone.

He believes thieves took them in a bid to make quick cash from bereaved families.

David, a retired labourer, said: “Each and every wreath went missing within a two day period of being placed so we asked at the office whether they had been moved by workers but they said it was very unlikely.

“I think people took the wreaths to then sell on to others which is sickening. I understand that we are in a recession and times are hard but surely there are better ways to make money than stealing from the dead?”

Councillor Chris Meaden, cabinet member for culture, tourism and leisure, said: “Stealing things from other graves and memorials is a deplorable thing to do.

“It beggars belief how anyone could be so heartless and brazen and our deepest sympathies go to the family involved in this incident.

“We take security very seriously at Landican, as well as at our other cemeteries. Community Patrol officers carry out regular patrols and our maintenance staff also keep an eye out whilst they are taking care of the grounds.”

However, it is important that individuals and families are able to come and go and spend time at a cemetery in peace, without intrusion, so it is a sensitive balance to strike.”

David now believes more should be done to stop similar incidents happening in the future and that families should be on the look-out for thieves in the cemetery.

He said people should think about the upset they may cause to grieving families before they steal from graves.

He said: “In future I think we will have to take any flowers like wreaths up to Landican on Christmas Day, rather than before, so that thieves can’t sell them on as no-one would want to buy them then.

“I don’t know if CCTV is an option but something needs to be done to deter people from doing this heartless act.”

Councillor Meaden added: “If anyone sees anything taking place in a cemetery that they believe is suspicious please contact staff at the cemetery office, call community patrol on 0151 666 5265 or report it to the police.”

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