Graffiti Spoils Headstones

Two hundred year old headstones have been splattered with yellow paint in a thoughtless display of wanton vandalism in Bideford's Old Town Park and Play Area.

Torridge District Council’s Clean Neighbourhoods Officer Dean Smith was on dog fouling patrol in the park and play area when he noticed the defaced headstones. In addition to that, the dog bin was attacked and there was graffiti scribbled on the back of the fire station.

He contacted Enviro-Crime Officer Andy Fenge and, with PC Derek Broadribb (Bideford West Neighbourhood Beat Manager) and PCSO Paul Uden, went back to the site to clean off the paint.

Local historian, Torridge District Councillor and Bridge Trust (who own the Old Town Park and Play Area) Trustee Peter Christie said: "The Old Town park is an important part of the town's history and heritage.

"It beggars belief that someone would deface these old headstones like this. It’s completely unacceptable and totally disrespectful."

PC Derek Broadribb: "Since the old Town Neighbourhood Watch scheme started, the crime rate has definitely gone down but this sort of anti-social behaviour in the community needs to be stopped immediately.

"Our aim is to continue to patrol and monitor this and other nearby areas to ensure that the chances of this happening again are minimised."  

It is thought the vandalism occurred during the weekend of 5-6th February.

If anyone has any information about it please contact the Police on 01237 428009 or Torridge District Council on 01237 428810.

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