VANDALISM at the Ballarat New Cemetery has been described as “distressing” by the chairman of the Ballarat General Cemetery Trust.
Police are appealing for witnesses after vandals defaced graves within the new Bird Song area of the cemetery on Friday between 3pm and 4pm.
Investigators found that a number of headstones had been damaged and ornaments and vases were smashed in what has been labelled a senseless attack.
“I can’t understand it. It is wanton destruction with no reason,” Ballarat General Cemetery Trust chairman Graeme Hewitt said yesterday.
“You’ve got to wonder what would prompt it.
“It is very distressing because it centres around the burial of people’s loved ones. It is someone’s loved one that has been subject to this damage.
“There has been damage to trinkets that have been placed on graves by connections of the deceased. That would cause considerable distress and discomfort to those concerned.
“There were water taps let run. The subsequent damage is the trust’s responsibility but the trust is a not-for -profit organisation so the community ends up paying anyway.”
The damage was discovered after a visitor reported that a large number of taps within the grounds were left running.
Police estimated the damage to be in the thousands of dollars.
A group of youths aged in their early teens were seen leaving the cemetery through the pedestrian gate onto Norman Street around 4pm on Friday.
Police are appealing for anybody with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visitcrimestoppers.com.au.