Calls for Northampton cemetery to be secured after graves continue to be vandalised

Sally Nicholson, who visits the graveyard a few times a week to pay her respects, is campaigning for a fence to be put up in Dallington Cemetery after items from her loved ones graves have recently been binned.
Sally Nicholson, who visits the graveyard a few times a week to pay her respects, is campaigning for a fence to be put up in Dallington Cemetery after items from her loved ones graves have recently been binned.

Dallington Cemetery users are calling for the area to be fenced off after items from their loved ones graves were put in the bin, broken and some remain missing.

Sally Nicholson has laid several family members to rest in Dallington Cemetery and is now concerned about how secure the area is after she found special possessions from her loved ones graves, including sunflowers, lanterns and angels, in the bin.

At the bottom of the cemetery is a gap between the bushes, which is thought to be used as an unofficial entrance to the graveyard by the vandals who have also taken ornaments off a stillborn baby's grave, and thrown them into a bush.

Sally reported the incident to the police on August 23 and said she also called Northampton Borough Council the following morning to share her concerns about the lack of security.

Now she wants the cemetery to be entirely gated to stop this happening to others.

She said: "I think the council now have to step up to the mark, and if not, then explain why not.

Ornaments, including action figures, personalised heart figurines and teddy bears, lay on the bank after they were collected from the ditch.

Ornaments, including action figures, personalised heart figurines and teddy bears, lay on the bank after they were collected from the ditch.

"Money is found for other things but when you pay for a resting place you want to make sure your loved ones are secure.

"We all lose people don't we? And you have to think that they are in somewhere safe.

"When I saw the little teddy - that made me sad because it's got a knitted cardigan on."

The damaged figurines were found in a ditch, near the gap in the bushes, earlier on this week by a different Chronicle & Echo reader.

Kallyann Butt was devastated to find that ornaments from her babies grave had been taken.

Kallyann Butt was devastated to find that ornaments from her babies grave had been taken.

Kallyann Butt, 27, of Bants Lane in Duston lost her first baby, Koehn, who was stillborn, when she was 25 weeks pregnant back in 2015.

On Sunday (September 1) she visited his grave to discover it had been trashed and blue stones were thrown from his resting place and scattered around the cemetery.

She said: “It’s disgusting to think someone has been on my son's grave, took his stuff and has walked all over him while scattering his little blue stones everywhere."

“They just need to learn some respect really. How would they like it if we went into their homes and trashed them? I’m sure they would not be happy.

“Koehn's items are still missing and it breaks my heart to think someone could do something like this.”

On Facebook Sonia Baxter agreed. She said: "It's disgusting. They have taken things off my sister’s grave as well. They've got nothing else better to do."

Claire Harris added: "Within two days of my daughter's funeral, flowers were taken from her grave.

"We've had a lot of stuff taken from there over the years, nearly always the cheapest stuff too!"

A spokeswoman for Northamptonshire Police added: “We did receive a report of criminal damage at Dallington Cemetery at 7pm on Sunday night where it seems grave ornaments were damaged and also thrown around."

Witnesses, or anyone with information, are asked to contact Northamptonshire Police on 101. Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 and Northampton Borough Council on 0300 330 7000.

A Northampton Borough Council spokesperson said: “We have every sympathy for the people who have been affected by this vandalism and are looking at what can be put in place to prevent entry from this side of the cemetery.”