South Wales Police and Bridgend County Borough Council are urging residents to remain alert and to report any suspicious behaviour they may witness when visiting local cemeteries.
It follows a series of thefts in which sexton’s huts and maintenance outbuildings at five council-maintained cemeteries have been broken into.
The thieves, who appear to be targeting metal items, have vandalised and damaged the cemeteries while attempting to gain access before removing pipes, taps and more.
This has left the cemeteries without a water supply, which has caused issues for mourners and grieving families who have been visiting to pay their respects and tend to graves.
Councillor John Spanswick, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: “The thefts have so far taken place at cemeteries in Pontycymmer, Ogmore Vale, Porthcawl, Cornelly and Laleston, and each site has been subjected to additional vandalism.
“This has meant that the cemeteries have been left without a water supply, which has caused upset for grieving families and individuals who have been tending to the graves of their loved ones in the run-up to Christmas.
“The vandalism and thefts have been reported to South Wales Police, and the council is making arrangements for the damage to be repaired and for water supplies to be restored at each of the affected cemeteries. We are also looking at options for how these heartless criminal acts can be prevented in future.
“Targeting a cemetery, demonstrating utter disrespect for the dead and causing unnecessary upset for people who are already grieving is both despicable and irresponsible, and I hope that the criminals who did this are quickly caught and brought to justice.”
Anyone who has any information about the thefts can contact the police confidentially using the 101 number – remember to quote one of the following crime references when making your call:
- Laleston Cemetery – 2300394859
- Cornelly Cemetery – 2300395227
- Porthcawl Cemetery – 2300395257
- Ogmore Vale Cemetery – 2300395286
- Pontycymmer Cemetery – 2300395313