Residents have been left ‘horrified’ after callous vandals destroyed floral tributes and wrote obscenities on headstones in a Doncaster cemetery.
Offensive terms and swear words were daubed in chalk on headstones, flowers left on graves were ripped up and a floral wreath from the previous day’s funeral was destroyed during the seemingly ‘random’ vandalism spree at Stainforth cemetery,
Following the incident – which is believed to have taken place between 7pm on July 24 and 8am on July 25 – when the grounds are locked.
Dozens of upset families arrived at the cemetery to check whether their loved ones’ graves had been vandalised.
“When I got there on Saturday morning, I couldn’t believed the devastation that had been caused,” said Stainforth Town Council Mayor Mary Nesbitt.
She added: “When we got there we had to go round every grave to see whether it had been written on or if the flowers had been ripped up.
“Myself, town councillors and other residents had to spend most of the day clearing up the mess that had been made.
“What’s happened has affected and upset everyone here.
“We’re all horrified.
“One family’s floral tribute from a funeral from the day before were completely destroyed and they were understandably very upset.
“We are all shocked because nothing like this has ever happened in Stainforth before.
“I just can’t understand how someone could do this
“We want to send a message that this kind of behaviour won’t be tolerated in our community.
“Whoever is responsible for the damage should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for what they’ve done which has upset so many people.”
South Yorkshire Police are urging anyone with information about the vandals to contact them.
A force spokesman said: “We were made aware of reports of youths causing damage at the cemetery, throwing flowers around.”
He added: “Working together with the council, we responded to the local concerns and initiated higher visibility patrols through that location.
“The inspector isn’t aware of any further reports since this action was taken.
“If the local community are aware of crime and anti-social behaviour still happening in that area, please call 101 or the public can now email firstname.lastname@example.org.”