POLICE received reports of anti social behaviour and criminal damage at Milltown Cemetery last night.

These included reports of a group of youths who had gathered in the area and were fighting among themselves, and of bins being set on fire of at the gates of the cemetery.

Area Commander for West Belfast, Chief Inspector Kellie McMillan said: “This is a cemetery; a graveyard – a place for quiet reflection to peacefully pay respects to loved ones who are no longer with us.

“I cannot understand what any human person would feel could be gained from such thoughtless, criminal vandalism.

“Police will be working with the community in west Belfast to prevent this behaviour and stop further hurt being caused to families and friends of those whose lives are remembered here.

“This is not acceptable behaviour and a robust response from policing and the criminal justice sector is required.

“I am appealing to parents and guardians to know the whereabouts of their children and who they are with, and to play a role in preventing them from becoming involved in behaviour which could see them end up with a criminal record.

“If anyone has any information about who was involved in any of these incidents last night or, if you were passing Milltown Cemetery and saw something, call us on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 1440 of 27/10/17, or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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