Cemetery plaques targeted by thieves

Angela Abbott

Angela Abbott

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Two hundred memorial plaques have been pulled up from St Mary’s Church cemetery in Bletchley,

The metal plaques, mostly taken from rose bush plots and dating from the 1970s and 1980s, were reported strewn across a pathway and hidden at various spots around the cemetery.

Officials believe they were intended to be sold as scrap metal.

“It is just dreadful,” said Angela Abott, Bereavement Services Team Leader at Crownhill Crematorium.

“It adds extra upset for people who have only the one memorial to a loved one.

“These people don’t think about what they are doing –and how it would feel if a grave of one of their relatives was desecrated in such a way. It is very upsetting.”

The plaques have now been collected and taken to the crematorium.

Milton Keynes Council is appealing for relatives to get in touch to retrieve the memorials.

“We did find a number of these plaques at various locations around the cemetery and it does look sadly as if they were the intended targets for theft,” confirmed a council spokesman.

“We have them for safekeeping and we have asked families to get in touch with us to claim their plaque.

“However we are advising them that if they wish the plaque to be returned to the cemetery they should consider insuring their plaque against possibly further theft or keep the plaque at home and think about another memorial option that will not attract such interest from thieves,” they added.

“We would advise people to get in touch with us on 01908 568112 or email crownhill@milton-keynes.gov.uk”