People seen leaving with liters of water from Croydon cemetery


Concerned Croydon residents called the council after seeing people leaving with liters of water from a local graveyard.

The council said it was aware of the problem, but added that the huge Mitcham Road cemetery was difficult to monitor.

Earlier this month, Michael Dettmar spotted a car stop and filled six large containers at the Thornton Road entrance to Croydon Crematorium in Mitcham Road Cemetery.

The 78-year-old said it was not the first time he had seen this happen during his regular walks with his wife around the cemetery.

The entrance to Croydon Crematorium on Thornton Road (Photo: Google Maps)

Mr Dettmar said: ‘This particular guy was just in a regular car. In the back I could see it had several large water tanks.

“I thought it was a lot to water flowers on a grave. But then he made a three-point turn and went out.

“Other times I’ve also seen builders use the taps.

“The council has to pay the water rates, so everyone who lives in the borough is paying for these guys to take on the water. It’s kind of sassy.”

Croydon Council’s 2022/23 budget included a provision of £444,000 for supplies and services relating to the borough’s two cemeteries and a further £41,000 for what is described as ‘premises related expenditure’.

Mr Dettmar said he had previously spoken to the cemetery staff about the matter and on that occasion brought it up to his local councilor, Stuart King.

An email from the council to Cllr King said: ‘The filling of large water containers is an issue we are aware of and we are already taking a proactive response in advising those seen not to do this, this has been met with by some success and we will continue to advise that this is a visitor facility to our cemetery and the water is not intended for any other use outside of these parameters.

“The problem we have is that it’s a 56-acre site and we can’t always monitor as closely as we would like.”

The email went on to say that pointing a security camera at the faucet in question is not an option.

He said this camera should point towards the entrance to the site to ensure that all cars are captured.


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