Metal thieves hit cemetery in Blackpool

Metal thieves caused thousands of pounds' worth of damage to a Jewish cemetery after breaking in last Wednesday night.

Intruders stole two copper taps, seven copper standpipes and copper piping from the ohel at the Carleton Cemetery in north Blackpool.

Water was left flowing from burst plumbing below an outdoor basin used for handwashing after funerals and consecrations.

Inside the ohel building itself, the vandals unscrewed and stole taps and kicked a porcelain sink off the wall.

Blackpool police said the incident was being treated as a case of criminal damage and are stepping up patrols and appealing for information.

Sergeant Martin Webster said: "This callous offence has caused more than £3,500 worth of damage."

Frank Freeman, president of Blackpool United Hebrew Congregation, which administers the ohel building - the cemetery itself is used for Reform burials - said no graves had been disturbed.

"Blackpool Council have been very co-operative and are going to pay towards rectifying what has been destroyed. There is a consecration this Sunday and we are making provisional arrangements for handwashing," he added.

Last updated: 10:14am, April 1 2011