The Royal Borough of Greenwich have said they are appalled by disgusting thieves who have stolen the new COVID-19 memorial bench in King George’s Field, outside Greenwich Cemetery, late last night (Monday 14th February).
The memorial bench, which was installed just a few days ago, is one of 23 across the borough dedicated to those who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Councillor Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich said, “I am truly appalled that someone would steal this bench, which was installed to remember those we’ve lost to COVID-19. I don’t think there’s one person in our borough who hasn’t been affected by the pandemic in some way. It’s utterly shameful.”
Councillor Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Culture, Communities and Equalities said, “The benches are a place for residents to remember loved ones and reflect on events of the past two years. They also serve as a thank you for the tireless efforts of key workers throughout the pandemic. The fact that someone would steal them is just beyond belief.”
According to the UK Health Security Agency, 604 people have died of COVID-19 in Royal Greenwich since the pandemic began, 209 people per 100,000 residents.
The theft has been reported to the Police, and the Council is appealing to members of the public who may have witnessed something.
Councillor Thorpe said, “We are asking everyone across this borough to help find those responsible and get this bench back immediately. If any members of the public have information on the theft which could help to recover the bench, please report it to the Police on 101.”
The bench has since been returned to the site where it was stolen. CCTV cameras in the area are being checked for information to help catch the culprits