Leader comment: Greyfriars Bobby grave attack unfathomable

Bert Hutchings, Greyfriar's Kirk and Kirkyard guide, with the vandalised grave stone. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Bert Hutchings, Greyfriar's Kirk and Kirkyard guide, with the vandalised grave stone. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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The most shocking thing about the vandal attack on the headstone of Greyfriars Bobby’s master isn’t perhaps the grave which was targeted.

It is that for staff at the cemetery, dealing with such desecrations and worse appears to have become a regular occurrence.

The appalling incident, happening as it did just days before Bobby’s anniversary, has rightly provoked outrage. How anyone can think it is acceptable to disturb a grave, no matter whose it is, is unfathomable.

The staff at Greyfriars are in something of an impossible situation, as they feel closing the gates at night would simply lead to more problems.

The police should not turn a blind eye to anti-social behaviour but at the same time can’t be expected to patrol round the clock.

So what can be done to protect what is after all a major Edinburgh tourist attraction?

If we are going to address the sort of behaviour which has plagued Greyfriars Kirkyard then we need to look at the social problems which have created a situation where the area has apparently become a magnet for drug taking and vandalism.

This isn’t going to happen overnight and at time of straitened public budgets is no easy task.