Letter of the week: Grave thieves who tormented this father and daughter's Hartlepool family deserve to be placed in stocks
The article, headlined Family's appeal after grave figure stolen (Mail, November 7) is sad but not unexpected.
Not only in Hartlepool but in cemeteries up and down this country.
In the last 30 years or more, thefts and damage to grave sites like this one in Hartlepool have steadily got worse.
It will increase unchecked to become more of a problem as time goes on.
The police will not class this matter as important, taking into account other crimes more pressing.
My advice to any victim of such a senseless act is not to give in to those who carry out such thefts, even knowing the pains felt by the family are heavy.
If we are bothered about the theft and report it, we should be bothered who took it and to do everything possible to put such scum before the court.
Not to do so gives those responsible a clear mandate to carry out more thefts and hurt many others.
To offer them money to get the item back adds fuel and strength to the offender.
To take the article to a police station is what they will never do.
Just putting it back on the grave is an option, but carries no deterrent effect for future items to go missing.
To offer a reward for information leading to a conviction or identification is the best thing to do.
The punishment should fit the crime.
Not appeasement, not a slap on the wrist.
Bring back the old wooden public stocks with rotten eggs and the like.
No roof nor protection in the stocks.
They would not re-offend.
R P Bantoft,
Last week's Letter of the week: Something needs to be done about pedestrians getting in the way of Hartlepool cyclists