Local families have contacted Newton News following an increase of thefts at West Cemetery in School Aycliffe.

Great Aycliffe Town Council have informed us that “predominantly, it has been solar lights and lanterns that appear to have been taken. Up to now four people have reported thefts, unfortunately one family have had two items taken on two separate occasions.”

The Town Council have asked for family members not to place tributes on graves because of the increase in thefts recently.

The council commented “There appears to be an increase in items being stolen from the graves within West Cemetery. We would like to advise loved ones not to place items of value on the graves and report any thefts to Newton Aycliffe Police and Great Aycliffe Town Council. The council’s park patrol service will be increasing their checks of the cemeteries.”

To report a theft call police on 101. Alternatively report information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.