Copper theft delays cemetery improvements

Edgwarebury Cemetery has completed improvements delayed after thieves stripped the copper from the roof of the prayer hall.

The car park and paths have been relaid and a new extension opened at the grounds.

Work on the car park had been held up because of the need to erect a marquee on the site to serve as a temporary prayer hall during the repair of the roof.

Cemetery director Paul Van der Hulks said thieves had struck twice last summer.

“On the first occasion, they stole £6,000 worth of maintenance equipment,” he reported. “On the second occasion, they removed the gates and climbed up on to the copper roof and ripped away three quarters of it.”

The final cost of reinstating the roof — now made of a non-metallic material — was in the region of £120,000, he said.

Another Jewish cemetery, Cheshunt, also suffered theft last year with the removal of £30,000 worth of material from part of the roof of one of its prayer halls.

Additionally snatched was cable valued at £20,000 that was being used in the construction of a new woodland burial site there — which has recently become available for use.

Last updated: 4:43pm, June 14 2012