Police step up patrols after spate of fires in cemetery

PUBLISHED: 16:35 05 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:34 06 May 2010

FIRES deliberately started have damaged two prominent trees and a yew hedge in a Harpenden Cemetery. The arson attacks in Westfield Road cemetery are part of a series of incidents which started in May, The most recent attack was on August 18, when a hed

One of the prominent trees damaged by the arson attacks

FIRES deliberately started have damaged two prominent trees and a yew hedge in a Harpenden Cemetery.

The arson attacks in Westfield Road cemetery are part of a series of incidents which started in May, The most recent attack was on August 18, when a hedge outside the toilets was set alight and the police are now stepping up surveillance to try to catch the culprits.

The police along with St Albans District Council's Anti Social Behaviour team are carrying out extra patrols in the area, and will be deploying a CCTV camera in various locations around the cemetery.

From the large number of discarded cigarette ends and empty beer cans in the cemetery, it is thought that the area is being used as a local meeting place during weekends and evenings.

John O'Conner, the district's grounds maintenance contractor, saw a group of young people fleeing the scene during one particular incident in May, but has since seen no other suspects.

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