CCTV ‘too intrusive’ to catch flower thief

ALTHOUGH thefts from graves at St Michael’s Churchyard in Honiton continue, police say CCTV cannot be used to reveal the cul.prit’s identify.

CCTV is considered too intrusive and overbearing for mourners.

Neighbourhood beat manager PC Ian Atyeo said his team had “no idea” who is responsible for the thefts, but haven’t ruled out bereaved cemetery-goers taking flowers from other graves.

“We’ve had half a dozen to a dozen reports of flowers going missing from gravesides at St Michael’s Church,” said PC Atyeo.

“In the past, we’ve been up there doing high visibility patrols and trying to think of ways to prevent it from happening.

“We considered putting in a camera, but it’s difficult to find a balance of being totally overbearing and over-intrusive to catch this person in a place where people don’t need that sort of thing.

“We decided that wasn’t going to happen.”

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PC Atyeo said there had been no problems for a considerable time before recent reports.

He added: “Who is doing this? I don’t want to pigeon hole types of people in the town.

“To be honest we don’t know. Enquiries are ongoing- we try to keep an eye on things there.”