Slough cemetery vandalised as family shares upset

Maria Hoadley, 52, from Maidenhead, has several members of her family buried in Slough Cemetery.

Having previously not had any issues with the cemetery, it came as a shock to Maria when her cousin visited a family grave on Wednesday, January 17, and reported it had been damaged.

Upon contacting the cemetery, Maria says she was told a man had caused a disturbance outside the gates the night before (January 16) and that police had reportedly been called but did not attend.

Maria said: “It is an absolute disgrace. They [vandals] caused thousands of pounds worth of damage that we will now have to pay out for as families which is not right.

“The lanterns which were placed on either side of the headstone – one was completely smashed and the side ripped off. They alone are £600 each.

“One of our friends whose father is also buried in the same area has had the same issue. A lantern was ripped off and vases broken.”

Damage is also believed to have been done to the newer area in the cemetery.

“There are families who can’t afford to put right damage caused within a few weeks – it will take months for them to be able to do that. This could have all been avoided.”

Maria was shocked to find out that CCTV cameras only covered some areas of the site and wishes to see further security put in place.

“Some families may not even know that some graves have been damaged,” Maria added.

Thames Valley Police received a report of criminal damage on January 17, however the incident has been filed pending further information coming to light.

A spokesperson for the force said: “Thames Valley Police is appealing for information following an incident at Slough Cemetery where criminal damage was caused to lanterns and grave stones.

“Anybody who may have any information relating to the incident is urged to contact Thames Valley Police, either via their website, or by calling 101, quoting reference number 43240025611.”

On the night of January 16 police also received a report of theft at the cemetery, with anyone with information asked to contact police and quote 43240026645.

Slough Borough Council has said their staff have been working to return items to grave plots where possible.

A council spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, we can confirm that someone did vandalise some personal memorial items in the cemetery.

“There was no damage to any headstones or plots themselves, but we understand how upsetting it is for those families of the memorials affected. The damage was to a small number of memorials.

“The incident has been reported to police. There is CCTV on site at the cemetery and crematorium, but it doesn’t cover all areas. We may have footage of the alleged perpetrator and will be sharing anything which could help the police with their enquiries.

“Staff worked quickly to clear away any broken glass from lanterns and vases and returned undamaged items to plots, where possible.

“If any families want to discuss what happened, they are welcome to speak to someone on site.”

Slough Observer | News