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Vandals who attacked baby memorial tree also stole CCTV, police reveal

PUBLISHED: 16:37 15 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:38 15 September 2020

Parents have been left heartbroken following the vandalism of a baby bereavement tree in Holywells Park, Ipswich  Picture: GREGG BROWN

Parents have been left heartbroken following the vandalism of a baby bereavement tree in Holywells Park, Ipswich Picture: GREGG BROWN

Thieves who left bereaved parents heartbroken after vandalising an Ipswich park’s remembrance tree may have also stolen a CCTV security camera overlooking the site.

Parents were left devastated following the thefts, which took place sometime between July and September 5 in the Magic Garden area of Holywells Park.

The remembrance tree, bought in 2016, features brass leaves engraved with the name and date of birth of a baby lost during the pregnancy or neonatal periods, alongside a short message in their memory.

Three of these leaves have been stolen from the remembrance tree sculpture, which is commissioned by the Ipswich Hospital Baby Bereavement Group.

It has now been revealed that officers believe that a CCTV camera system which overlooks the area was also stolen during the same time period.

Laura Houlden, fundraiser for the group, said group members are devastated by the heartless crime.

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Mrs Houlden said: “These families have suffered through enough in the loss of their babies, so to go through all those emotions again is very traumatic.

“Once a family knows where their leaf is on the tree, it is the first thing they go to look for. We are devastated and completely saddened by what has happened.

“It is a very special place for families to go on so many levels – so many people don’t have a place they can go and physically see their baby’s name, so to have that removed is a major trigger.

“Families go to the tree because they need that comfort and support.”

Witnesses or anybody with information are asked to contact police quoting reference 51888/20 by calling 101 or visiting this website.


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