Community slams mindless vandalism at Hampton church - The Evesham Observer

Community slams mindless vandalism at Hampton church

Evesham Editorial 20th Jun, 2019   0

AN HISTORIC Hampton church has been targeted twice by vandals within a week in attacks branded ‘mindless’ by the town’s mayor.

Coun Mark Goodge spoke out after the first attack between 3am and 5.30am on Sunday (June 16) at St Andrews Parish Church cemetery on Pershore Road which saw an unknown number of vandals go on the rampage.

Flowers were pulled up on a number of graves and wooden crosses and ornaments were picked up and scattered across the graveyard during the vandalism.

As investigations continued into the incident, the church was then daubed with graffiti in an incident overnight on Wednesday (June 19) which again saw councillors and members of the church come together with police to attempt to clean up the mess.




Spray paint was found on the memorial garden behind the church, on memorial slabs and on the flowers and nearby walls and the church’s driveway.

A member of the Town Council’s staff and PCSOs were on hand over the weekend to help replant and tidy up the cemetery as well as to reassure members of the public. Whilst mourners were upset, Coun Goodge praised the community spirit in defiance of these actions.


“I was very saddened to hear about the mindless vandalism that took place at Hampton Cemetery. As is often the case the actions of a few have a big impact, however, I was encouraged to hear about the sense of defiance from those present that they would not let this get them down,” Coun Goodge said.

“I would also like to thank the members of the public, West Mercia Police, a fellow councillor and a member of Town Council staff who all attended on Sunday to help tidy up and replant.”

In reaction to the first incident, Insp Andy Smith from West Mercia Police said: “This was a senseless act which has caused a great deal of distress to the local community, particularly as the first incident was on Father’s Day, when a number of people would be expected to visit the cemetery to pay their respects to their loved ones.

“While investigations are ongoing, local officers have been patrolling the area making door-to-door enquiries and offering reassurance to the local community.

“We take reports of this nature extremely seriously and I would urge anyone with any information to contact my local policing team as soon as possible to allow us to take appropriate action.”

In relation to the second incident today (Thursday), a police spokesperson said: “We were called at 7.25am this morning to a report of criminal damage in a car park on Pershore Road, Hampton.

“Reported graffiti sprayed between 8pm last night and 7am this morning.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call West Mercia Police on 101 quoting incident number 211s of 16 June for the first incident and 0092S of 200619 for today’s vandalism or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

 

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