THE backlash following the despicable attack at Philips Park Jewish Cemetery in Whitefield is understandable.

The incident, which is currently being treated as a hate crime, saw chapels broken into, a memorial headstone damaged and CCTV equipment taken.

Metal taps and copper pipes were stripped from the building, which suggests that it may have been thieves hunting for scrap metal.

Whatever the motivation for the break-in and damage, it is still a cemetery where people’s loved ones have been laid to rest and is a special place where family and friends come to remember them.

The attack is a violation of that, especially as it is a Jewish cemetery with strong religious ties.

Irrespective of the denomination of the cemetery, it is horrible to think that people have such little respect for the dead and their families.

Cemeteries might be seen as soft targets, with no one around at night.

But surely it should not need tougher security to stop thieves treating it as easy pickings.

To commit such a crime must prick at the conscience of most people.

If there are people out there who really don’t care about anyone or anything else, they are surely beyond hope.

But, it is more likely that they would be the first ones complaining if the graves of their loved ones had been damaged.

There are certain crimes and incidents which draw universal condemnation and this is one of them.

It has been the topic of conversation across the borough over the weekend and the police investigation to find those responsible continues.

Hopefully those responsible will come forward and make amends for what they have done.

In the meantime it is hoped that anyone with information about the break-in reports what they know to the police.