Heartless thieves have targeted a cemetery – stealing historic metal railings.
The ruthless crooks are believed to have made four trips to the Camelon burial ground to pinch the wrought-iron fencing.
Now a call has come to step up security at the cemetery to stop even more thefts and any further damage being carried out.
Around 40 yards of the five-foot tall fencing was stolen in a fortnight, with the latest theft discovered on October 8.
Thieves are likely to have taken the railing for scrap value and police believe that they must have cut it into smaller sections, given its weight.
Councillor Gerry Goldie, whose ward takes in the cemetery, described the theft as “heartbreaking”.
The ornate railing had been in place for over 100 years and during the Second World War is understood to have escaped the removal for the war effort because it bordered consecrated ground.
Mr Goldie said: “This is heartbreaking and I hope if any member of the public saw anything they will immediately get in touch with the police.
“However, I believe that the council also has a responsibility to look again at the issue of security for our cemeteries, whether it be by electronic methods or patrols.”
He also urged that the task of replacing the railing be given to a local foundry. The cost of this work has still to be determined.
Colin Cunningham, Falkirk Council’s estates manager, said: “A number of sections of the fence around the cemetery have been removed on four occasions over the past two weeks.
“We were shocked that anyone would want to remove these as they are ornately designed, over 100 years old and mark the boundary of a consecrated area.
“We have been working with the police to try to identify the culprits, as well as looking at what possible additional security measures could be put in place while still respecting people’s rights to privacy.
“It is truly disappointing to see that vandalism can take place at the cemetery and we would urge anyone with any knowledge to get in touch with the police as soon as possible.”
A spokeswoman for Central Scotland Police said: “We have had reports of damage and a substantial amount of railings have been removed. We would appeal for anyone who was in the area and spotted anything suspicious to get in touch with us.”
Information can be given to the police by calling 01786 456000 or can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.