Action plan to stamp out vandalism in Wisbech Cemetery

AN action plan put together by councillors to help combat vandalism in Wisbech Cemetery has been given the go-ahead.

The plan by Fenland District Council comes after residents presented a petition calling for immediate action. It was adopted by councillors as an initial response to the petition but officers will continue to work with the community to resolve anti-social behaviour.

Thousands of people signed both online and printed petitions following the most recent vandalism in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery when the graves of more than a dozen children were damaged.

Council officers have been consulting residents and local councillors David wheeler and Ray Griffin.

At last Thursday’s meeting of the council’s cabinet, Councillor Peter Murphy said: “I would like to say how sorry I was to hear about the damage that had been caused to the children’s graves in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

“Let me assure you that the council is working with the community to prevent this damage re-occurring. This type of behaviour is unacceptable and I feel sympathy with those families whose children’s graves were damaged.

“We have produced an action plan that will address security issues that have been identified by cemetery visitors, residents and families.”

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Cllr Murphy said a number of actions have already been completed. These include using the CrimeBUSter vehicle as a central point to engage with residents and users of the cemetery, ensuring an increased presence in the cemetery and engaging with local businesses to help monitor the area out of operating hours.

In partnership with the Neighbourhood Policing Team, interest in setting up a local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme is to be investigated but already more than 30 residents have shown an interest in joining the scheme.

A number of physical improvements are also planned to improve security including removal of plants to ensure a clear view through the cemetery, installing a gate to the toilet block entrance, and repairing the main perimeter fence to stop access once the cemetery is locked.

Once the fencing has been improved it is proposed that the gates will be opened and closed by the council’s cleansing team restricting access between the hours of 6pm and 6am.

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