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Plaques stolen from cemetery in Tonbridge

Police stock picture
Police stock picture

Brass plaques dedicated to loved ones have been stolen from a cemetery.

The cruel thieves swiped 150 brass plaques - believed to be worth around £80 each - from the Welland Road cemetery in Tonbridge on May 11.

Now police are appealing for information after what they have dubbed a "heartless" attack.

Neighbourhood Inspector Nick Sparkes said: “Stealing plaques that have been produced by the bereaved in memory of loved ones is heartless, to say the least.

"I’ve no doubt that they were taken for their scrap metal value, without any thought for the significant impact this will have on family and friends of the deceased.

"I would urge anyone who is offered plaques for sale, or who thinks they know who is involved, to contact us immediately.”

A council spokesman told of his sadness at the theft.

Steve Humphrey, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council's director of planning, transport and leisure, said: "We would like to extend our deep regret and sympathy to the families and friends of those remembered by the plaques.

"The council keeps the cemetery as secure as possible but it is a public place that should be respected by the whole community. We will continue to work with Kent Police as they appeal for witnesses of this heartless crime."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Tonbridge and Malling neighbourhood policing team on 101, quoting incident reference 11-0682. Alternatively, contact Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

If anyone believes they might have had a plaque stolen, they are asked to contact the Tonbridge Cemetery Office, on 01732 876357.

The theft comes just after a week after thieves stole lead from the Chatham Naval Memorial in Great Lines Heritage Park, Chatham.

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