Leeds & West Yorkshire

Appeal after Muslim graves at Leeds cemetery damaged

Vandalised graves
Image caption Police are studying CCTV footage from the area

Twenty-one grave stones have been damaged in a section of a Leeds cemetery used by Muslims.

West Yorkshire Police is appealing for information after plaques and headstones on some of the graves at the city's Harehills Cemetery were damaged.

The incidents took place overnight between 17 and 18 September.

Police said the graves were in an area predominantly used by Muslim families and the vandalism had caused a "great deal of distress".

'Mindless vandalism'

Ch Insp Melanie Jones said: "This incident has caused a great deal of distress to a number of people in the local community and an investigation into the damage has been launched.

"Over the weekend we have worked alongside community leaders to identify and contact the next of kin of those whose graves have been affected by this mindless act of vandalism.

"We have also undertaken a full forensic examination of the scene, including a number of discarded items that were found in the area, as well as analysing local CCTV.

"At this stage the incident is being treated as a racially motivated crime and we are determined to catch those responsible."

Anyone who was in the area of the cemetery on Friday evening or Saturday morning and saw anything suspicious is asked to contact police.

In March an inquiry was started by police after 19 grave stones were vandalised at the same cemetery.

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