Appeal to find ‘sick’ vandals who desecrated graves in Hebburn

Tommy Oughton at the graveside of his wife Mary
Tommy Oughton at the graveside of his wife Mary

The hunt is on to find the sick vandals who desecrated graves at a cemetery in South Tyneside.

Families were left devastated when they arrived at Hebburn Cemetery on Sunday to find headstones had been ripped up and ornaments stolen.

You shouldn’t need to have CCTV or security in a cemetery, it’s a place where people come to pay their respects to loved ones.

Coun John McCabe

It is the second time in a matter of weeks, the cemetery has been targeted by yobs.

Yesterday, councillors for the area met with police in a bid to prevent a repeat of the vandal attack which has left families heartbroken and angry.

Coun John McCabe said: “This heinous crime has left a lot of people angry and they are wanting to find those responsible.

“It is absolutely despicable what these sick vandals have done.

“You shouldn’t need to have CCTV or security in a cemetery, it’s a place where people come to pay their respects to loved ones.

“We have had meetings with the police and they are increasing patrols and they are also looking at CCTV from the area to find those responsible.

“Hopefully it’ll only be matter of time until they are caught.”

Temporary Neighbourhood Sergeant Victoria River said: “Understandably this mindless vandalism has had a devastating effect on those whose loved one’s graves have been damaged and we are doing all we can to identify those responsible.

“Extra officers will be on patrol throughout the cemetery over the coming days to prevent any further incidents and to offer reassurance to those visiting the cemetery.”

Anyone with information is asked to pass details to officers on patrol, call 101, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.