CALLS have been made to install security cameras at a cemetery following the theft of trinkets from a grave.

Nigel Kelly, from Ushaw Moor, said his family had been left heartbroken following the theft of solar lights from his mother-in-law’s grave.

He said: “I think it’s bad when you can’t put something on a loved one’s grave without it being taken.

“It’s heartbreaking and it’s upsetting. I think it must be kids. Why do it? If they wanted £1.50 for a light I would give it to them, but it’s upsetting when you go down and find it’s been taken.

“The family is still upset from losing her and then this is upsetting as well.”

Mr Kelly bought the lights to put on the grave of his mother-in-law Sylvia Robinson, who died on March 10.

However, they went missing from the cemetery in Broom Lane only days later.

Mr Kelly has been in touch with Durham County Council, which manages the cemetery, to call for cameras to be installed.

Mr Kelly said the same thing happened when his mother died in 2013, when a number of items, including lights and personalised plaques, were taken from her grave.

The 51-year-old added: “To me it is a criminal offence and there should be cameras, so they can catch these people. It’s horrible.

“I’ve spoken to a few other people who go to the cemetery and they say they’ve had things taken too.

“I think people should open up and say what’s happening. I wish I had said something all those years ago when my mam died and things were taken from her grave. I had lights and plaques down there and they all went missing.”

Oliver Sherratt, Durham County Council’s head of direct services, said: “We are very sorry to hear of these thefts.

“We were not aware of any issues with thefts in this cemetery, but will look into the issue.

“The use of CCTV in public places, particularly covert cameras intended to catch criminals, is governed by laws designed to prevent unwarranted intrusion.

“We would, therefore, not look to CCTV as a first option in this instance but would instead want to work with Mr Kelly and the police to explore other methods of deterring or preventing unacceptable behaviour of this sort.”