THE Vicar of Ormskirk Parish Church is urging the council to site a new CCTV camera at the bottom of the graveyard after complaints of items being removed from graves.
At cabinet on June 12 West Lancs council members approved a list of possible locations for new cameras across the borough.
It means cameras may be sited in Rufford, Tarleton, Banks and Hesketh Bank for the first time, and there have also been proposals for cameras around the main shopping areas of Sandy Lane and Digmoor Parade in Skelmersdale to help tackle crime and disorder.
One of the sites identified is adjacent to Ormskirk Parish Church, and Rev Chris Jones is urging the council to site it at his requested location at the bottom of the graveyard.
He said: “There’s been a number of issues and a camera would really help as a deterrent and to identify what is going on.
“We’ve had a bench virtually destroyed, people messing about in the stream and complaints from people that things have been removed from graves. At the moment we don’t know whether that could have been caused by the wind or a dog has taken a teddy bear, but people can get very distressed.”
A council spokesperson said: “At this stage we do not know the exact details of where any cameras may go, and feasibility studies will have be carried out on all the proposed sites before a final decision is made on which cameras will be installed.
“If an area is approved the actual siting of the camera may depend on a number of factors including electricity supply and the best location to avoid the view being obstructed.
“Following a request from Rev Chris Jones at Ormskirk Parish Church for a camera to assist in reducing anti-social behaviour, officers thought that the camera could also be used to cover a busy route through the town centre.
“It is therefore hoped that the proposal will still assist him and officers will speak to him when necessary.”
The Council agreed to provide £250,000 for new cameras in February. Another £60,000 has been provided by the West Lancashire Local Strategic Partnership for upgrading work.
Feasibility studies will now be carried out to check if the proposed sites are viable.