Councillor condemns ‘thugs’ over cemetery vandalism

by Lori Carnochan and Emma Craig

A West Lothian councillor has condemned the youth of today after vandals targeted a town  cemetery.

A total of 21 heastones were damaged in Manse Road cemetery in Whitburn just after midnight on October 31. 

The recent vandalism is the second attack in just eight months and caused around £5,000 worth of damage.

West Lothian Councillor George Paul has expressed his outrage saying: “I think this is absolutely disgraceful.

“This is not an isolated case as earlier in the year some youths broke the Celtic cross at the local memorial.”

It is reported that the gates to the Manse Road cemetery remain open at night and that youths use the footpath that runs through the graveyard as a shortcut.

Mr Paul went on to say: “I find it ridiculous that some sections of today’s youth have respect for nothing and nobody.”

It is thought that the community is now concerned that others will follow lead and cause damage to more of the headstones around the area.

Local resident, Joanne Rowan, 36, said: “My friend has a close relative buried at the Manse Road cemetery; luckily his headstone was untouched, however it has saddened me deeply that this has happened.”

Inspector Michaela Kerr from Whitburn police station appealed to the local community to help find those who carried out the vandalism.

She said: “This is a despicable crime and one which causes great distress to families who have already suffered the loss of a loved one.

“I am sure the local community will be keen to support the police in their efforts to identify the culprits and bring them to justice.”

Lothian and Borders Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident. Anyone with any information is urged to call police on 01501-740 222, or Crimestoppers on 0800-555 111.