Shoe Print Could Help Find Grave Vandals

Police investigating damage to around 30 graveyards in Poole have released a picture of footprint found at the scene.

They're appealing to anyone with information to come forward after graves, including those of children and a 1916 World War 1 soldier were damaged at Poole Cemetery on Dorchester Road between 3 p.m. on Friday 25th January 2013 and the same time on Saturday 26th January.

Some of the graves had been trampled on and flowers thrown around, and headstones and crosses broken into pieces.

Police Sergeant David Parr, of Poole police, said "Following forensic examinations, a shoe print has been obtained which is believed to be that of the offender. The tread is similar to that of a Reebok 321 branded sole, commonly used on the Reebok Classic trainer, although we are aware that other varieties and brands use the same design."

"It would appear this print is of adult size but it is difficult to be precise, and only one set have been found indicating the suspect acted alone. I would like to renew my appeal for information as to the identity of this offender, who we believe to
be a teenager or adult man, and possibly living in the vicinity of Oakdale."

"This callous act was carried out late on Friday night and into the early hours of Saturday morning.Therefore we are appealing to members of the public who may have noticed someone acting strangely at the cemetery around this time, or are aware that a friend or loved one returned home at an unusual time acting suspiciously."

We have no doubt that the terrain in the cemetery around the time this offence took place would have been muddy, so we are urging people to be vigilant in case someone they know has dirty shoes matching the attached print."

A 23-year-old man from Poole arrested in connection with this incident has been released without charge, and enquiries are continuing.

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101 quoting incident number 26:177. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.