Beef up security at Kirkintilloch cemetery...

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A SICK theft has prompted demands for better protection at the Old Aisle Cemetery in Kirkintilloch.

The Herald revealed earlier this month how the Scott family, from Kirkintilloch, were left distraught when a statue of Our Lady, costing thousands of pounds, was wrenched from their parents’ grave in the Old Aisle Cemetery.

Police described the callous theft as an “appalling crime”.

The family believe it was stolen to order, sometime between May 26 and June 3, and have now called on East Dunbartonshire Council to lock the gates of the cemetery at night.

Clare Scott said: “No one goes into a cemetery at night except to cause trouble.

“Even if it’s not closed until 10 or 11pm, the cemetery and its gates should be locked at night.”

Keith Scrimgeour, the council’s roads and neighbourhood services manager, said: “The theft of this statue from a grave is a despicable act and we can fully understand the family’s hurt and anger.

“We work with the police to keep our cemeteries as safe as possible, but at the Old Aisle keeping the gate closed at night is not an option for the council. There is a right of way through the cemetery and closing it off would not be appropriate.

“I also believe that closing the gates would not deter anyone who was intent on getting into the cemetery, but it would deny access to the police should they need to attend an incident.”

The council official added: “Likewise, closing the gates would deny access to people with mobility problems. We will continue to review security at this and all other cemeteries and liaise with the police.”