Families' anguish after treasured items removed from graves in Buckingham

Buckingham Town Council is liaising with the Neighbourhood Policing Team on how to increase security

Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 2:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 2:20 pm

Grieving relatives have been left shocked after items have been removed from their loved-ones' graves in Buckingham.

Buckingham Town Council is looking in to what can be done to prevent this happening in future.

Hilary Innes told the Advertiser she visited her son, Peter's grave in the Brackley Road Cemetery on Tuesday, December 21, only to find that two items that had been placed on the gravehad vanished.

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This statue was taken from the grave of Hilary Innes' son, Peter

The items, a Celtic stone and a statue, were put there by the brother of the deceased six years ago.

Hilary said they were 'irreplaceable":

"What sort of individual has no respect for the family or the deceased person?" she said.

"What exactly, do they actually gain after stealing items which are not theirs?

"The Celtic stone is heavy. What next - removing a memorial stone?"

Hilary said this is not the first time mementos have gone missing from Peter's grave - including statues of a kestrel and a tortoiseshell cat.

"It is despicable that there is no respect or compassion," she said.

Buckingham Town Council is liaising with the Neighbourhood Policing Team on how they can work together to increase security.

Mayor of Buckingham, Margaret Gateley, said, “It is shocking and saddening when treasured items are stolen from the cemetery.

"This is especially upsetting when it happens so close to Christmas, when we remember loved-ones who have passed away.

"My thoughts are with those who have been affected by these incidents.”

The town council said the cemetery area is too large for CCTV to be viable and could intrude on private grief, and locking the gates outside of given hours would remove access for people who are unable to attend during working hours.

The council will discuss the issue and review the options at the Environment Committee meeting on February 28, and members of the public are welcome to attend and speak at the beginning of the meeting.

Meanwhile, the town council is asking anyone who has had items stolen to report it to the police and get a crime number, and encouraging all cemetery visitors to call 999 if they see anything suspicious.