Spate of thefts at Forfar cemetery

Items taken repeatedly from a family grave at Newmonthill Cemetery.
Items taken repeatedly from a family grave at Newmonthill Cemetery.

Readers have come forward with heartbreaking tales of ornaments being stolen from their loved ones’ graves at Newmonthill Cemetery in Forfar, following a report in last week’s ‘Dispatch and Herald’.

Several messages were posted on our Facebook page in response to the article which highlighted one family’s heartbreaking plight after several ornaments were removed from a headstone.

Reacting to the news Megan Simpson posted: “(This) Happened to my brother’s grave a good few times. People have no respect and stealing off a grave is the lowest of the low. Very sad.”

Ashley Keith stated: “This has happened to my sister’s grave on numerous occasions. We have also seen children from the surrounding area uplifting flowers, ornaments etc. and throwing them around the cemetery. It’s disgusting, a cemetery is not a playground or a place to consume alcohol, it should be a place of respect,

“I don’t think people understand how important a grave is to the people who are grieving the loss of loved ones; in my opinion I think it should have street lighting and should have cameras.”

Audrey Forbes revealed her daughter’s grave had also been targeted.

She said: “This has happened to our daughter’s grave. There was an item taken last year which was put down for the first anniversary, then sometime between December 30 and January 1 another three items have gone. It makes me sick that someone can stoop so low to do this.

“I agree something should be done like installing cameras, although some may think this is an invasion of privacy. Maybe they should close the cemetery gates at night especially in the winter months. It really causes even more upset for the families and is totally disrespectful.”

When asked to comment about the possibility of the gates being locked at night, a spokeswoman for Angus Council said: “Newmonthill Cemetery has two vehicle access gates, one at Easterbank and the other from Newmonthill Road.

“To control access and minimise non-essential traffic the Easterbank gate is kept closed and only opened for funerals. The Newmonthill gate remains open to allow disabled and emergency service access at evenings and weekends.

“Whilst we sympathise with those who have lost possessions, it is important that our cemeteries are accessible to the public and we maintain pedestrian access to every cemetery in Angus at all times.

“We would urge anyone who witnesses antisocial behaviour to report this to the Police. Our staff also remain vigilant and will report any such behaviour witnessed during working hours.”