Highland Council is urging local people and visitors to report those committing acts of vandalism to Police Scotland.
Over the past week there have been several incidents of vandalism, specifically at Tomnahurich Cemetery in Inverness.
Six wheelie bins have been set on fire, two benches have been destroyed also by fire and sadly several headstones have been pushed over.
Quite apart from the danger posed to members of the public due to uncontrolled and illegal fires, the emotional distress to relatives of the deceased is totally unacceptable.
Chair of Highland Council’s Communities and Place Committee, Cllr Graham MacKenzie said:
“It is extremely disappointing to see the recent incidences of vandalism at Tomnahurich Cemetery.
“The damage caused to headstones is particularly distressing for those visiting loved ones and we would urge anyone who saw anything or who has information to report it to Police Scotland.”
“Fire raising, while not only criminal, is a complete waste of taxpayers’ money as the bins which have been destroyed cost money to replace, at a time when Council budgets are under real pressure.
“We urge anyone with information on vandalism to contact Police on 101 or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Police Scotland Sergeant Brian Bisset, said:
“Vandalism to any place of rest is not only mindless, but frankly inexcusable.
“It is very upsetting for the families of loved ones who are no longer here.
“Fire raising is also a very serious issue and poses a legitimate threat to members of the public, property, and the environment.
“It is vital that people come forward with any information about those responsible.
“Local officers work closely with partners to address such issues to find meaningful long-term solutions to prevent these issues from arising.”
You can contact Police on 101 or using the “Contact Us” form on the Police Scotland website https://www.scotland.police.uk/secureforms/contact/
In addition, you can report anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Local Senior Officer for Highland, Area Commander Michael Humphreys, said:
“Deliberate fire-setting has the potential to cause serious injury and cause devastating damage to our environment and properties.
“These kinds of incidents are a needless drain on emergency service resources and can prevent our attendance at other serious or life-threatening emergencies.”
“Our firefighters and community action teams have been and will continue to work extremely hard to engage with the public to shine a light on the dangers of such behaviour.
“We also ask parents, guardians, and carers to help by making sure that children and young people are aware of the risks and consequences of deliberate fire setting.
“We welcome the ongoing support of our local communities and by following all of our key safety guidance, everyone can help to reduce the risk of fire.”
For further information, please visit https://www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/outdoors/deliberate-fires/