Late night sex acts and anti-social behaviour prompt calls for Northampton cemetery to be locked at night

Residents near Kingsthorpe Cemetery are calling on the borough council to keep the gates of the burial grounds closed at night - in order to clamp down on crime.

Residents near Kingsthorpe Cemetery are calling on the borough council to keep the gates of the burial grounds closed at night - in order to clamp down on crime.

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A lock on the gates of a cemetery could stop it being used as a cut-through for criminal getaways, graveyard vandals and late night sex acts, former policemen say.

Retired bobby Justin Brown says Kingsthorpe Cemetery provides an ideal route for criminals to escape as it can be driven through on motorcycles and provides access to a network of alleyways.

Surrounding roads such as Holly Lodge Road, Obelisk Rise and Harborough Road North saw six burglaries in April and May alone.

But residents say the burial grounds are also being used at all hours of the night for criminal acts. Last week a flasher was spotted in the grounds there.

And a few days ago a dog walker reportedly caught a group of people filming a sex video not far from the graveyard.

Mr Brown, who lives on St John’s Avenue nearby, has now written letters to the council asking it to keep the cemetery shut at night as a result of the recent incidents.

He said: “You’ve got the security issues, you’ve got people making dirty films in there, damage to gravestones, easy access routes for people to commit crime.

“It would take a minimal amount of effort just to come and lock those gates at night.”

Pip Robinson, another retired policeman from Obelisk Rise, who once worked the beat in Kingsthorpe, said the cemetery has a history of anti-social behaviour.

He said: “It would certainly help with the anti-social behaviour at night.

“The council needs to try closing it for a trial period to see how it goes.”

Another Obelisk Rise resident, Becky Rayment, 33, whose property backs on to the graveyard, said she regularly sees people entering the cemtery. There are always cars in there at night, the dog barks whenever there is someone in there.

“I think they should lock it, it would put my mind at rest a little.”

Councillor Anna King, Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “Kingsthorpe Cemetery has been unlocked for several years now. Both vehicles and pedestrians can enter at one end and pedestrians only at the other. We will liaise with our partners at Northamptonshire Police regarding current crime levels in the area and to seek their views on this.”