A POLICE officer has expressed his shock and anger at the growing trend of anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and littering in a cemetery.

Over the past few months, PCSO Charlie Symes says there has been an increase in incidents in the Bourton Cemetery on Cemetery Lane.

On a patrol of the area on Friday, PCSO Symes said he was disgusted by what he saw.

“I was shocked at the level of littering and complete disregard for the importance of this area,” he said.

“I found around six smashed Peroni style glass bottles all over the foot path of the garden and on the grass, which is an area dogs and small children use during the day which could cause a serious injury.

“I found Stella Artois cans and boxes strewn all over the area even though there are two empty rubbish bins around two metres away.

“There were crisp packets, bottles of soft drinks and smoking paraphernalia all over the ground.

“I saw flower pots and garden features up ended and thrown across graves.

“And finally the cemetery wall has been kicked and bricks removed from the wall causing parts to collapse.”

A team of volunteers take it upon themselves to clean up piles of bottles, cans, wrappers and cigarettes left in the Lynch Gate at the front of the site and in the Remembrance Garden at the rear every Saturday and Sunday morning after the antics of the night before.

Officers are unable to patrol the area throughout evening and at night as they are too thin to the ground.

PCSO Symes added: “From patrols we have made and the groups we have seen that use these areas, the youths are between the ages of 14 and 18, a mix of male and females and all locals. These youths are your sons or your daughters.

“They are most likely children that you know and see most days.

“We will be actively investigating these offences and I will be personally giving out Fixed Penalty Notices of £100 to any offender we catch.

“For more serious offences we will pursue criminal charges. Please help me to help this village!”