POLL: Police consider CCTV cameras in bid to stop cemetery thieves

POLICE have not ruled out the installation of CCTV cameras in Orange cemetery following a string of thefts in recent weeks.

Canobolas Local Area Command Inspector Dave Harvey said police were concerned about the thefts and would look at options to curb crime at the cemetery.

“Police will look at every available tool to detect and prosecute any offenders,” Inspector Harvey said.

“Police will be investigating the matter further.” 

Inspector Harvey encouraged anyone who had had items stolen from graves to contact them immediately.

Orange City Council spokesman Allan Reeder said council staff would continue to review feedback from families about problems at the cemetery.

“At this stage the long-term pattern is that the vast majority of gravestones and ornaments left at graves are respected by the Orange community and left alone,” he said.

“Cemetery staff are in day-to-day contact with families who visit the site through the week, and the comments from those families suggest it’s a small minority of graves that have been affected.

“Council staff can suggest practical suggestions about how to stop flowers blowing away or prevent ornaments from being damaged if they are blown over by strong wind.

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“For many visitors and family members, a visit to a graveside can be a very personal time, which can produce strong emotions. There would have to be a very good reason to potentially intrude onto that personal time by setting up a mobile CCTV unit.”

Mr Reeder says the latest incidents at the cemetery may also prompt debate within families about what sort of ornaments are appropriate and how to manage them.

The Central Western Daily asked online readers if they thought CCTV cameras should be installed at Orange cemetery and 65 per cent of respondents said they should be.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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