Needles found after rough sleeper uses Broadway Cemetery as Peterborough home

Belongings found in Broadway Cemetery EMN-170225-165644009

Belongings found in Broadway Cemetery EMN-170225-165644009

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Needles were found at Broadway Cemetery after a man was found sleeping rough at the graveyard.

The man has been camping at the cemetery on and off for a month and is believed to have lit a bonfire on the site.

The Peterborough Telegraph visited the cemetery last Friday and saw a person’s belongings placed on people’s headstones.

Labour Park Ward councillors Richard Ferris and John Shearman said they had received complaints from residents living close to the cemetery that a group of rough-sleepers were camping in it and lighting fires.

They added: “Council officers identified a number of weak spots on the boundary of the cemetery and these will be made secure very soon.”

Cllr Ferris said he had reported a rough sleeper to the council several weeks ago, with the authority moving him on.

He added: “I want to see the site secured to prevent anyone accessing it outside normal opening hours. It’s a cemetery, somewhere that should be respected and looked after.”

Conservative Park Ward councillor John Peach said he too noticed the rough sleeper and had alerted the council.

A spokesperson for Amey, the city’s street cleaning service, confirmed that needles and rubbish had been cleared from the site, but that no graves had been damaged.

A Peterborough City Council spokesman said it was aware of a small fire being lit, but that it had caused no damage.

He added: “We are aware of one individual who has been sleeping rough in the cemetery on and off for around a month. He has been offered the opportunity to attend a night shelter.

“There was some mess left in cemetery which has been cleared.

“This site itself is locked from 4pm at this time of year.

“Further to this, following a site inspection, we intend to erect some additional fencing in front of a hedge where access could be gained.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said it had received one call to Broadway Cemetery this year which was on February 18.

The call was to reports that a man was asleep in the cemetery.

The spokesperson said the council attended and moved the person on.