A grieving son has hit out at motorbike-riding yobs who disturbed mourners paying their respects at a Sheffield cemetery.
The youths were caught on camera hurtling through City Road Cemetery, Manor – and were today condemned for disrespecting the dead.
Disgusted David France, aged 71, was laying flowers on his mother’s grave when he saw the bikers.
He was so upset he reported them to South Yorkshire Police.
Officers have now stepped up patrols in the area to try to catch the culprits.
Mr France, who was visiting from his home in Brittany, France, to mark the anniversary of his mum Kathleen’s death, said: “I was taking a picture of the flowers we had laid on my mum’s grave for my sister when I heard the sound of a motorbike without a silencer racing through.
“I started filming the bike and initially there was one person riding it. Then it stopped and another jumped on and they sped off – they must have been going at more than 30mph.
“This was an affront. I hoped there were no families burying loved ones that day, because to have a bike riding around the cemetery would have been utterly devastating for them.
“I am angry people would be so disrespectful and would desecrate a cemetery like this.
“In France cemeteries are revered – youths would never even think of disrespecting the dead in this way and desecrating something so sacred.”
He said flower holders were regularly stolen from his mum’s grave and headstones were often knocked over.
In an e-mail to Mr France, Inspector Ian Roberts, from South Yorkshire Police’s East Sheffield safer neighbourhood team, said: “Where we can identify and safely stop motorcycles being ridden unlawfully and, or, dangerously, then we are empowered to seize them and we most certainly do.
“I’m truly sorry such a special moment was ruined.
“I will ensure we have additional patrols in the area, though I readily accept this is of little comfort to you.”
Coun Isobel Bowler, Sheffield Council cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure said: “I deplore any kind of anti-social behaviour anywhere in our city, but particularly in our cemeteries.
“Nuisance from motorbikes in our parks and open spaces is always to be regretted – and especially in a cemetery where people should be able to spend time in peace and quiet remembering and commemorating their departed friends and relatives.
“I am sad these motorcyclists have been so inconsiderate to the feelings of other people.
“We do not have the resources to provide permanent security at our cemeteries, but we do work closely with the police to reduce anti-social behaviour in cemeteries and other public spaces in the city.”
Anyone with information about the riders is asked to call South Yorkshire Police on 101.