A petition has been launched calling on Preston City Council to install CCTV in Preston Cemetery.Advertisement
Launched by a Preston resident it says the council should beef up security following vandalism in the cemetery.
They said: “Quite a few graves have been and continue to be destroyed, not only are vandals destroying the resting places of our loved ones, they are also removing valuables off the graves.
“It’s bad enough losing a loved one without fearing that something may happen to their resting place.”
But Ribbleton councillor Jonathan Saksena, whose ward covers the cemetery, said more regular police patrols are a better solution.
He said: “The issue of security in both Cemeteries has been raised on a number of occasions at PACT meetings, but more in terms of providing regular patrols to prevent unauthorised access at night rather than providong CCTV.
“I personally get more complaints about throwing rubbish into the Cemeteries or dogs being let off-lead in tham than about vandalism. Of course vandalism occurs, but it isn’t as frequent as these lesser problems.”
Councillor Saksena said there were likely to be strong objections to CCTV in cemeteries.
He said: “There is quite a bit of objection to CCTV in Cemeteries at meetings which I have attended, as people who are grieving or paying their respect at family graves don’t particularly want to be watched on camera.
“I doubt if it would be very effective in any case unless there were a lot of cameras – both Cemeteries are full of nooks and crannies which will be difficult in terms of surveillance.
“The Cemeteries are a Preston-wide issue and concern the whole Council – they are not just a not just a matter for Ribbleton Councillors. I would quite like to see more security, but there is no money in budget for CCTV, so whatever is done about security will have to take money from another service, such being the current financial climate.”
The e-petition is on the council website and any Prestonian can sign it if they want to back the idea.
It must reach 50 signatures to get a response from the council.
The options available to the council include holding a public meeting, consider the petition at a council meeting or hold an inquiry.
If the petition reached 1,350 signatures it would trigger a full council meeting where the issue would be debated.
What do you think about the idea? Will you be signing the petition? Let us know in the comments below