Graveyard path stones are stolen

VALUABLE Yorkshire stone has been stolen from a graveyard in Low Moor.

Police are now asking people to keep their eyes and ears open in the hope of catching the thieves.

Yorkshire stone has been taken from a number of places in Low Moor, with the path at the Methodist graveyard in Wesley Place the latest target.

Sgt John Metcalfe, of the Tong and Wyke Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into making this area look attractive and it is extremely disappointing to see that some individuals are prepared to destroy the environment at the expense of local people.

“We have recently experienced a number of stone thefts in the Low Moor area and we are currently focusing resources upon this and offering crime prevention advice.

“Central to this is the local community, who can help us find those responsible by telling us if they have seen any suspicious behaviour in the area or have any information which could benefit our enquiries.”

Sgt Metcalfe said that although stone was very difficult to trace, there were ways to identify the culprits: “Vehicles, for instance, are usually used to remove the stone due to its weight and people can assist us by noting down the registration number of those they believe are involved.

“Stone merchants could also be approached to sell on stolen items and we need to know if they have been offered any goods, particularly under unusual circumstances.”

The graveyard is now closed, and is on land owned by Bradford Council.

David Elcock, the council’s acting area parks and landscapes manager, said the thefts were disappointing, but the council hoped to replace the path.

He said: “The Methodist Chapel graveyard at First Street, Low Moor, is a closed cemetery for which the council is responsible.

“Following a request from residents in the area, council staff started work in August to clear the public access through the site which exposed an area of natural stone flags.

“During the course of the clearance work, thieves lifted and stole some of the flags on the site and the council is now looking at how to reinstate the footpath before completing the clearance work.”

Contact police on the non-emergency number 101.