CCTV in cemetery not in use due to constraints

John Halewood Dodd.
John Halewood Dodd.

In this, the week of the general election, a main issue has been whether the austerity measures are working.

By the time this appears in print we will hopefully know how the next Government is to be made up so I certainly have no political bias in recanting this tale of how the measures have effected people locally.

As a result of writing this column people often contact me with their own experiences suggesting that I may wish to give them a wider audience. This is one example which I felt was worthy of so doing.

This gentleman regularly tends his mother’s grave in Torrisholme Cemetery, and as she loved roses he planted rose bushes there. He was distraught to discover that each time he did so some unscrupulous ghoul would steal them.

Obviously, he found this extremely distressing but persevered and purchased and planted more bushes hoping that the thief would have a conscience and leave them alone. Unfortunately, this was not the case and when they were stolen for a third time he felt he had little alternative other than to report the matter to the police.

On attending Lancaster police station he was initially told that it was a Morecambe matter and that there weren’t any police officers available to deal with it. He was given a reference number and advised that an officer would be in touch.

Ten days later, and without any contact whatsoever, he again contacted the police and is still waiting for someone to get back to him. Having had more than a hint of a suggestion that it might be more productive if he were to investigate the matter himself he set about doing just that.

He knew that the cemetery displayed signs confirming that CCTV was in operation so contacted the council to see if they retained footage in the hope that the thief could be caught red-handed.

Imagine his frustration to receive an email from Lancaster City Council which initially informed him that items left on a grave are done so at the grave owners risk, and then went on to say that the CCTV was not currently in use due to budget constraints.