Eight cemeteries across Stoke-on-Trent are to keep their gates unlocked 24 hours a day as part of council cutbacks.

Stoke City Council believes the initiative, due to begin in October, will help to save £10,000 from the annual budget as staff will no longer be needed to open and close the gates on a daily basis and cut back on the amount of repairs.

However, it has sparked anger among the communities who believe the cemeteries could now be subject to vandalism and theft since there is nothing to stop criminals attacking the area.

A spokesman for the Stoke-on-Trent (Graves) Advice Group told The Sentinel: "We urge anyone with any concerns, or anyone witnessing anti-social behaviour, vandalism or an increase in litter to contact the council."

It comes after the council told residents in Palmers Green that they would be responsible to open and closure a set of security gates designed to stem anti-social behaviour due to budget cutbacks.

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