COMMUNITY leaders have slammed mindless graveyard vandals for the distress they are inflicting on grieving families.
The grounds of Bistre Church in Buckley have been targeted by vandals, who have taken fresh flowers laid for loved ones on graves and strewn them around the cemetery.
The actions have been condemned as “sickening”, while bereaved families have told of their personal distress at what has been happening.
Police said they plan tostep up evening patrols in the area while community leaders have called for CCTV security.
Buckley councillor Carol Ellis said flowers had been removed from her father-in-law’s grave three times in the last week.
“It is mindless and it makes me feel absolutely sick,” she said.
“It’s not the first time it has happened, it has been an ongoing problem.
“The flowers are removed, ruined and thrown around everywhere.
“Other graves have been done in the same way and I just don’t understand what’s behind it.
“It’s pointless and is causing a lot of upset to so many families. It is one of the most disrespectful things anyone could do to the dead and their families.”
Cllr Ellis’ husband and fellow councillor Dave Ellis, whose father is buried in the churchyard, said: “My family are very distressed because of this. This has happened three times in the last two weeks.
“I have reported it to police and they are investigating.
“It is vandalism on a grand scale. People go the churchyard to remember their relatives.
“Flowers I put on my father’s grave for Father’s Day were strewn all over the place.
“It happened twice on the same day last week – and it is both in the day and the night.”
Cllr Ron Hampson said he would like to see the return of mobile security cameras in the area.
He added: “There have been kids hanging around the churchyard. Things have been thrown around. It is a nuisance and we need to get to grips with it.
“It is very upsetting for the people who visit the churchyard and have relatives there.”
Cllr Ellis added that plans were being put in place to try and combat the problem.
She said: “I’ve long recommended a mobile CCTV camera be placed on a lamp post there. After a long fight I’ve got the funding for it and I’m hopeful it will act as a deterrent.”
Cllr David Ellis’ sister Sue Edwards added: “It’s heartbreaking for us as a family.
“They have desecrated my dad’s grave and we have had to remove all of the flowers.
“It’s horrible to feel we are not able to put flowers on my dad’s grave and not feel able to put them there in future.
“I don’t understand the mentality behind it. There is no respect for the dead and it has tied us up in knots.”
A spokesman for North Wales Police confirmed they would also be monitoring the area closely.
A spokesman said: “We received a call on Saturday night that flowers had been removed from the grave of a family member.
“Local officers are now going to include that area in their evening patrol to act as a deterrent.
“Anyone with any information about this incident should call police on 101. The crime reference number is R098003.”